What was supposed to be the happiest day in the life of a new couple turned into a day of sorrow after operatives of Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps with assistance of some officials of Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps beat up the groom, bride, friends at a wedding ceremony at Federal Marriage Registry, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
The couple, Mr and Mrs Amosun, had gone to the Ikoyi registry for their wedding ceremony when in a swift turn of events everything turned bloody.
The crisis started when officials of LAGESC accompanied by some staff of LNSC stormed a street and impounded a car belonging to Mr Amosun, the groom, while several other cars were parked on same street.
The impounded car contained food and drinks meant for wedding guests.
According to the couple, the car was parked on Rumen Street, Ikoyi, and they had been authorised to park there by officials of Eti Osa Local Government Area, who collected N500 as parking fee and issued a ticket.
Upon arrival of the couple and groomsmen to explain that they were parked by local government officials, LAGESC and LNSC officers alleged that they were being filmed and started beating all persons holding smartphones including the couple and groomsmen.
A relative of the couple, who narrated the incident to our correspondent, claimed that the environmental sanitation corps battered the couple and friends after realising that their intention to embark on a corrupt and exploitative act had been exposed and thwarted.
“We went out to get the food to serve the guests when we discovered that officials of LAGESC had impounded the car in which party food was stored.
“We moved close to them to converse with them that we were not parked illegally and tried to settle the issue when one of the officers claimed that someone was recording the matter while calling others to come and deal with us.
“About four officials pounced on one of the friends of the groom and beat him up.
"While that was going on, the groom and bride rushed down to intervene and the officers also beat them, turning deaf ears to the plea of other relatives and officials of the marriage registry,” one of the relatives said.
In a bid to cover up their nefarious act, the LAGESC officials arrested a friend of the groom, Shola Osolo, and whisked him to their headquarters in Oshodi where he was promptly arraigned for assaulting some officers.
Osolo explained that one of them called others to come around and on getting to the scene, began to beat him and others.
“I was bundled into their Black Maria and first driven to a court in Ikoyi where the magistrate said she can’t attend to my case because the person they claimed I had assaulted was nowhere to be found.
“I was later taken to the mobile court at Oshodi where the LAGESC officers mounted pressure on me to plead guilty so I can be released.
“When the magistrate arrived, I pleaded not guilty and the magistrate admitted me on bail and I was released the following day.
“I spent the night at the hospital as my face and other body parts were swollen. I spent thousands of naira at the hospital,” Osolo narrated.
It was gathered that the officers smashed the phones of those, who attempted to record the incident.
The groom quipped that the officers successfully disrupted his wedding ceremony as he counted his loss.
He said, “Aside from the fact that the officers impounded my car, went away with the coolers containing our food, they also damaged phones of my guys. None of my wedding guests were served food and drinks that day, everything was wasted.
"We were forced to pay about N40,000 but upon release, I discovered that they had taken N20,000 which I kept in an envelope from my car safe.”
When contacted, the agency promised to look into the matter to find out what had transpired at the marriage registry before making an official stand.
Their position was not yet known as of the time of filing this report.