Saturday was a bad day for security personnel attached to the state Environmental Task Force, who were battered and bruised by some prostitutes during the monthly sanitation exercise in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Sources say the women tore the uniforms of the security personnel into shreds and inflicted varying degrees of injuries on them when they tried to arrest them for not complying with the environmental laws.
The Task Force, led by the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Sola Ebiseni, had set out as early as 8am to ensure strict compliance with the monthly environmental exercise, visiting some towns and villages, arresting people who violated the environmental laws.
When they got to the Inner Circle Hotel at Oke paadi, off Lao Street in Akure, they met the prostitutes with their clients during the exercise taking alcoholic drinks and dancing, a development which prompted the men of the Task Force to make moves to arrest them.
The prostitutes, however, resisted and also prevented them from arresting their clients.
In the process, it was learnt, civil defence officials and one of the policemen attached to the Task Force were beaten up by the prostitutes and their clients.
A female civil defence officer also had her uniform torn by the prostitutes.
It took the intervention of additional security men comprising policemen, State Security Service officials and civil defence personnel in the team, to bring the situation under control.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Sola Ebiseni, consequently ordered his men to seal off the hotel premises. He also ordered the prostitutes and their clients to be arrested and taken to the police station for interrogation.
He said the offenders apart from the fact that they would answer charges at the environmental court, would also be prosecuted for assaulting government officials.
Briefing reporters at the end of the exercise, Ebiseni said 22 persons were arrested and taken to court immediately for violating the environmental law
He also said the government would as from Monday take over any unkempt uncompleted building that constituted nuisance to the public.
The commissioner lamented a situation where uncompleted buildings were left unkempt thereby making such places hideout for criminals.
He added that any stray animal would henceforth be seized without recourse to the owners as the government was poised to ensure strict compliance with environmental laws.