Lagos Police Command paraded 48 members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) before the press.
The NURTW members, according to Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, were arrested for their involvement in clashes, which had claimed some lives and sent shivers down the spines of residents and business owners in various parts of the state.
Some of the suspects who spoke to Punch while being paraded at the state police command headquarters, Ikeja, said there had been clashes between factional groups of the union on Lagos Island.
The suspects stated that Lagos Chairman of the union, Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo, set them up by inviting them to a meeting at the state office, when policemen invaded the venue and arrested them.
According to one of the suspects, Demola Ogunrinu, the clashes between the NURTW members were between the MC Oluomo faction and another loyal to Adekunle Lawal, aka Kunle Poly.
Ogunrinu explained that those arrested were from Lawal’s faction.
He said, “There has been trouble in our area between the loyalists of MC Oluomo and the Chairman of the Branch ‘C’, Kunle Poly. Trouble started when MC Oluomo became the chairman of the state chapter.
“Because of the way members were clashing and injuring each other, we were invited to the state office by MC Oluomo for a meeting and that was where we were arrested. We work from 6am to 6pm and don’t get involved in the fight.”
Similar to Ogunrinu’s explanation of how they landed in the police net, Ibrahim Ahmed, who was also paraded, said they thought the meeting was to make peace between the factions, but were surprised when the state chairman ordered their arrest.
“I am a member of the Branch ‘C’ under Adekunle Lawal. People were fighting on Lagos Island and we were invited to a meeting for peace to reign and that was how we met ourselves here. What is happening is painful; look at how they are disgracing us.
“It was MC Oluomo who invited us, and we were holding the meeting at the state office in Agege when they started locking the doors and brought the police to arrest us,” Ahmed was quoted as saying.
Another member, Taiwo Audu, said, “The police arrested about 23 of us at the meeting and took us to the Area ‘G’, where we wrote statements and from there, we were brought to the command headquarters.”
The Commissioner of Police however said the NURTW members were arrested for disturbing the peace of the state, adding that they will be charged.