Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development on Monday apprehended a middle-aged man, Adeyemi Adebayo who specialized in serving fake demolition notices and stop-work orders on buildings under construction in exchange for inducement.
Adebayo, who claimed to hail from Osun State and reside in Anuoluwapo area of Ilogbo in Ogun State, was said to have been apprehended after serving demolition notice on a building under construction in Lagos State.
The workers on sight of the building had alerted the officials of the Ministry shortly after Adebayo served the demolition notice, after which the suspect was caught with four fake identity cards of the Lagos State Government.
While being interrogated by newsmen, the suspect said he was employed as a project staff by the Lagos State Ministry of The Environment about eight years ago, but was laid off without any benefit four years after.
The suspect, who claimed to be married but divorced, added that ever since being laid off, he had been working with his friend’s junior brother.
He said: “I have worked in the various sectors in the Ministry of The Environment. We are project staff and we worked there for good eight years. I was relieved of my job about four years ago. We came in and we worked in various areas and we are being told to go for staff audit. They just laid us off without any benefit and they did not collect their identity cards from us.
“The only thing I have to say is that when someone worked for government, they should at least recognize the efforts of such person. You cannot just lay off people like that without anything. We all know the situation of the country. I know I don’t have the authority to do what I have been doing but I have been known with the Ministry of Environment,” the suspect narrated.
Briefing newsmen on how the suspect was apprehended, spokesperson of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Adeshina Odunuga said Adebayo had been going about impersonating as a Town Planner with the Ministry before he was caught on the fateful day.
Odunuga said: “This is a gentle man that was arrested while he was impersonating as an officer of the Ministry. He goes about to mark buildings, serve demolition notices, serve stop-work orders and collect money and other form of inducement in exchange for that. Sometimes he goes about serving demolition notices and threatening owners of buildings all around. He was arrested by officials of the Ministry who got to a site and was told one of them has just left. He was called back and that was how he was arrested.”
The suspect has since been handed over to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Nigerian police for further investigation.