Some residents of Ajani Akingbogun Street, Akowonjo, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, described how some imposters claiming to be civil servants of the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure of Lagos State extorted money from locals.
According to them, the group usually visits the community whenever someone builds a house.
The team reportedly went to a three-story building under construction last Thursday and collected a huge amount of money.
It was reported that those who partially witnessed the incident overheard the men chatting with a woman in Yoruba and claiming to be from the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure.
They accused her of breaking state law and demanded payment, threatening to demolish her home.
One of the witnesses heard the woman, Ruth Thomas-Giwa, pleading with them as she negotiated the alleged penalty charge.
“They got 4,000 naira back from me because I erected a pillar to fortify my house against flooding,” she later said.
When they approached them and demanded their IDs and mission, they ran out of the compound, got into a vehicle and left.
Another resident, Olumide Oluga, whose paternal house was being renovated, also claimed that the team stopped him from carrying out the work and handed him a bill for 100,000 naira.
He said: “They came here and handed me a bill for 100,000 naira last week and said we should stop work on the construction project. They even gave me a phone number to call.
A resident of Oke Street, Idowu Adeojo, said the group regularly visited the community whenever construction work was underway.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Idris Salako, said the men were not officials of his ministry.
He said, “I’m sure they’re not from this ministry.”
Lagos State Information and Strategy Commissioner Gbenga Omotosho said the state government would never send officers for such jobs.
He said: “Lagos State Government does not walk around asking for payment on buildings as things like this are professionally managed by the state.”