Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s Senior Special Assistant on New Media, Jubril Gawat, has justified the auction of 134 vehicles seized by the state government on Thursday for various traffic violations.
The exercise sparked a lot of backlash, especially on social media after videos of the auction site showed some car owners wailing as their vehicles went up for auction, with many calling the government’s action harsh.
Explaining the reasons behind Friday’s action in a post in a Twitter thread titled “FACTS about the Lagos State Auction Process that took place yesterday,” Gawat said the exercise was fully in line with the provisions of Lagos State laws.
He said some vehicles have been seized for fines only, but their owners have abandoned them, leaving the government with no option but to put them up for auction. He also confirmed that enforcement will continue after the successful auction of 134 vehicles.
Gawat wrote: “The Lagos State Taskforce, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, has auctioned 134 forfeited and abandoned vehicles at the Taskforce compound in Alausa, Ikeja.
“The role of the Lagos State Task Force is to conduct enforcement exercises, namely seizure of vehicles for traffic violations, and turn them over to the MOBILE COURT (with evidence) for trial.
“Some of the cars auctioned here have been confiscated. Not for ONE WAY alone, there are other offices that just get fined, but some people walk away from the court process, that’s why they have been forfeited to the state government after the specified period ( ACCORDING TO THE LAW).
“The coordinator of the Lagos State Special Offenses Mobile Court was present at the auction site, she says the exercise is seamless and well organized and also revealed that all 134 vehicles on display had gone through the proper procedure of the Court of Justice before being forfeited .
“Taskforce says auctions are designed to deter the public from committing crime or traffic violations, as no one would be spared if they were found wanting. He says he hopes this exercise will act as a deterrent to other road users who like to drive against traffic.
“Finally…. ENFORCEMENT CONTINUES.”