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4 persons nabbed for tampering with pollution evidence in Lagos

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Four persons are to face the wrath of the law for allegedly tampering with environmental pollution evidence.

They were arrested by men of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), in Ikorodu.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Public Affairs Officer of LASEPA, Mrs Bola Ajao, on Monday, the suspects were said to have been arrested on Friday during a joint follow up inspection exercise with NAFDAC to the sealed Ikorodu scrap yard.

Mrs Ajao said that the joint inspection led to the discovery of more toxic substances prompting a LASEPA stop-work order and leading to the arrest of the four persons.

The joint operation was carried out by Mrs Adedayo Adedayo, Director E-waste, (LASEPA), and Mr Ado Kabiri, Principal Regulatory Officer, NAFDAC.

“The arrested suspects attempted to destroy previously-established evidence by gaining access to the sealed site illegally (jumping over the fence) and attempting to destroy evidence by arson,” she said.

The statement disclosed that the Facility Manager and the alleged owner of the expired drugs (paracetamol, ginseng multivitamin cleansers) were taken into custody by NAFDAC for further questioning.

The team also discovered two scrap yards and three 40-feet containers, with two containing used medical consumables, while the other contained metal and E-waste materials.

The officials also found large quantities of artificial sweeteners and flavours, biohazardous waste, including used needles, syringes, nose masks disposable hand gloves and apparels amidst the squalor.

The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, then commended the investigative team for exhibiting a high level of professionalism, describing the joint operation as a purposeful collaboration between two sister agencies, the statement read.

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The two agencies involved are both saddled with responsibilities of safeguarding public health and promoting quality of life in a sustainable environment.

“These activities affect all of us, we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and eat food from the same soil. If these activities go on unchecked, the State would be in a huge environmental and food safety crisis”, Fasawe said.

The LASEPA boss warned other illegal operators in and around the residential areas to relocate to areas earmarked for industrial and commercial activities within the State, stressing that the agency is willing to facilitate the process of moving with fair notice and due consideration for the economic requirements.

“Breaking into sealed properties or removing government seals or tampering with evidence are all criminal acts that attract punishment, therefore, the full wrath of the law shall be served accordingly on the trespassers,” Fasawe warned. 

Just recently, LASEPA had issued a statement, warning property owners against using their facilities as illegal scrap yards, saying it promoted environmental pollution.

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