There was pandemonium and confusion along the Badagry-Seme Expressway, yesterday, as Police officers believed to be under the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Special Squad arrested some Policemen and operatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, during a raid on illegal checkpoints on the Seme-Badagry Expressway.
Vanguard gathered that the IGP squad chased and arrested some police officers and other security agents found at some of the checkpoints, believed to have been created purely to extort.
The development may not be unconnected with the recent meeting between the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi and IGP, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, and their resolve to free the axis, which serves as the Lagos-Abidjan corridor of illegal checkpoints.
The activities of the illegal checkpoints have led to all manners of disruptions of movements of goods and people, and believed to have also hindered trade facilitation, apart from the negative image such action exposes the country before the regional and continental community.
Our correspondent learned that the raid would be sustained until bad eggs within the respective agencies responsible for the blight are completely removed through sanctions and punishments.
Reacting to the development, maritime stakeholders commended the IGP for commencing the cleansing of the axis and urged him to take the action to its logical conclusion, until the axis is completely free of the illegal checkpoints.
They also appealed to the CGC and IGP to extend the clean-up to members of maritime police, who they say have also become a clog in the wheel of legitimate businesses and trade facilitation.
Speaking on the menace the police command constitutes to trade, a Customs broker based at Seme, who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity, said: “The maritime police command has since appropriated part of customs job by blocking manifests. They order shipping companies not to release manifests and such tendencies have become entrenched.
“They even impound containers on the road and take them to their premises around Obalande. We want the IGP to help us beam its searchlight here too. There is so much extortion going on at the maritime command. They should be fighting maritime crimes and should be stopped from taking over customs job.”