The Lagos State Police Command has arrested some people said to be responsible for a boat accident which claimed seven lives in the Ijede, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt on Sunday that the Ijede Police Division detained some sand miners, which included a Chinese national, pending the conclusion of investigation.
Our correspondent had reported that a commercial boat belonging to Aki Marine had capsized while conveying 17 passengers and two crew members from Ijede en route to Badore a few minutes after taking off.
It was reported that the boat crashed into a hidden heap of sand that had been dredged along the waterways.
While four of the 17 passengers on board died immediately, three others were said to have given up the ghost shortly after they were rushed to the hospital.
Our correspondent learnt on Sunday that the families of the victims had started identifying them, while all the survivors at the Ikorodu General Hospital had been discharged.
The General Manger of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Michael Akindele, said the agency was still awaiting the boat manifest to aid its investigations.
He said, “All rescue operations have been concluded. I can also confirm to you that the survivors at the general hospital have been discharged and allowed to go home. Those who were responsible for this have been arrested and they are being detained by the police.”
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the police arrested some of the sand miners while working.
He said, “I was there five hours after the incident happened and watched everything. For those five hours, dredging activities were still ongoing. The reason is that the Chinese bosses pay the workers hourly and they were forced to continue working. The men of the Marine Police came there and arrested one of the Chinese men and a Nigerian.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the arrest of the sand miners, adding that they would be charged to court at the end of investigations.
She also said the police had started releasing the corpses of victims to their families.
She said, “The corpses were actually handed over to the police at the Ijede division, and some of the sand miners have been arrested and would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.”
The Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Agency, Mrs. Abisola Kamson, could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls to her line.
A text sent to her phone had also yet to be replied to as of the time of filing this report.