According to PM News, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) dragged five scavengers to a Lagos court for allegedly entering a refuse dump site at Igando, Lagos, illegally. They were remanded in prison after the arraignment.
Do you guys understand what you just read? Those people who go to dump sites, pick things you are I have thrown away, sell them or whatever it is they do with them, just to make a living, were arrested and locked up.
The men are: Sunday Oyedele, 33, Waisu Ayeni, 23, Akinwumi Akintoye, 38, Fadeyi Sampson, 35, and Mathew Igene, 45.
The defendants told a PM news reporter that they had been scavenging at the site for some time before the new LAWMA workers came and started demanding money from them to enable them to enter the site.
They claimed that their inability to part with undisclosed amount of money daily caused their predicament, an allegation the workers declined to make any comment.
P. M.NEWS confronted some of the workers at the court on the issue of demanding money from them. One of the LAWMA workers identified as Nurudeen told our reporter they would not comment, saying he was not authorized to speak on the matter.
P. M.NEWS gathered that the LAWMA workers contacted the police at Igando division who swoop on the scavengers at the site and arrested the suspects, while others escaped.
They were arraigned in the court on a four count charge of illegal entry, obstruction of LAWMA and conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace by illegally assembling at the site. The police claimed that the offence they committed was contrary to sections 44, 52, 117 and 338 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. They pleaded not guilty.
The presiding Magistrate, Mr O. A. Komolafe granted them bail in the sum of N50, 000 each with two sureties in like sum.
The matter was adjourned till 13 August 2012 while the defendants were remanded in custody pending when they meet their bail condition.
Meanwhile, the residents of the defendants under a group stormed the court singing solidarity song, condemning the action of LAWMA. They said the victims resorted to scavenging because of the economic situation in the country, yet LAWMA went ahead to worsen their plight.