by Isi Esene
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 custody after the arraignment.
The men arraigned before the Court are; Sunday Oyedele, 33, Waisu Ayeni, 23, Akinwumi Akintoye, 38, Fadeyi Sampson, 35, and Mathew Igene, 45.
The accused men complained to reporters that they started having problems with the LAWMA management when changes were effected in the agencies personnel manning the dumpsite. They added that LAWMA workers demand money from them occasionally, and their refusal to part with money is the reason for their arrests.
The LAWMA management have however denied extorting money from scavengers.
When asked to comment on the scavengers’ allegations, a LAWMA worker, Nurudeen, refused to comment, saying he was not authorized to do so.
The five men were arraigned in 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.
They pleaded not guilty.
They were subsequently granted bail by the presiding magistrate, Mr. O. A. Komolafe in the sum of N50,000 each with two sureties in like sum.
The defendants were remanded in custody pending when they meet their bail condition.
The question: Why would the scavengers be rummaging through refuse for a living, in the first place, if they had N50, 000 to spend?