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War on the private sector: Lagos Police seize 30+ bikes from Ride-hailing companies ORide, Max NG, others

Disrupting the operations of the disrupters
  • Around 7am on the morning of October 11th, 2019, Police in Lagos, Nigeria, stopped several ride-hailing bikes from completing their routes and confiscated their motorbikes.
  • This happened at the intersection of Adetokunbo Ademola street and Ozumba Mbadiwe in Victoria Island, Lagos
  • The Police gave no explanation for why the motorbikes were seized and even assaulted one of the riders that asked, according to a witness on the scene
  • Police told Business Insider SSA that they were working on "orders from above."

Regardless of whether they were riding alone or carrying a passenger, drivers for ORide, Max NG, and other ride-sharing firms were stopped by Police at the intersection of Adetokunbo Ademola street and Ozumba Mbadiwe in Victoria Island, Lagos.

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Business Insider SSA just happened to be in the area as a crowd of drivers, confiscated motorbikes, stranded passengers forced to end their rides prematurely, and Police gathered at the side of the road.

Two police officers in a pickup van told Business Insider SSA they could not divulge why they were seizing the motorbikes and that they were working on orders from above.

Lagos State distances itself from actions of Police

Just last week, when asked if the State would release motorcycles in its custody that had been seized at an earlier time, Lagos state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, said the following;

“Lagos State Government cannot release the motorcycles because they were seized by the police which is not an agency of the State government.”

Bikes may have been seized because Ozumba Mbadiwe is a restricted road

In November of 2017, the Lagos state government released a list of hundreds of restricted routes that Okadas and Kekes were to avoid. In March of this year, the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences impounded 115 motorcycles, 22 of which belonged to ride-hailing companies, for using the restricted roads.

Ozumba Mbadiwe is one of the restricted roads and could be the reason why this latest round of confiscation happened.

If they were seized for using a restricted road, why didn't the Police just say so?

Once again, the Police that spoke to Business Insider SSA said they were following "orders from above." They did not elaborate on why the bikes were seized. Whatever the reason, we are yet to find out.

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