The Lagos State Government has stated that the teargas by security operatives during its exercise at the Trade Fair International Market in the Ojo Area of the state was to disperse hoodlums.
Government officials had gone to the complex to carry out some enforcement exercise on Wednesday to stop further development of buildings without official approval within the complex.
The exercise was justified by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Oluyinka Olumide, according to a statement issued by the state.
The statement read in part, “The Trade Fair Complex has a record of not complying with building regulations or even cooperating with attempts to bring it to voluntary compliance.
“The enforcement exercise of yesterday was to send a strong signal that planning infractions in the area must stop while all building constructions must be regularised with the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development as stipulated by the Supreme Court Judgement of 2003.
“However, it is further from the truth that the Honourable Commissioner harassed or ordered the harassment of the Director-General, Trade Fair Complex, Vera Ndanusa, who made such a claim on Channels TV, whilst it is true that security operatives intuitively released teargas to forestall mayhem when the convoy was blocked by hoodlums after the successful completion of the exercise.
“The enforcement exercise of the Ministry does not single out the Trade Fair Complex, but it is a routine and cautionary move to ensure that people across the State build right in the interest of all.
“The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development is empowered by the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2019 as amended to control the development of physical structures within the State, issue planning permits and enforce compliance.
“The Ministry’s role is sacrosanct for a livable, organised and sustainable environment as well as the overall well-being and wellness of Lagosians.”