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23 May 2018

We’re not involved in toll gate clash – Seven-UP distances company from fight

The Management of Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited has distanced the company from a fight on the Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa, Ikeja, during which some officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority were injured.

The company said its workers did not fight the traffic officials, adding that those arrested by the police were workers of another company.

PUNCH Metro had reported that some trucks, which LASTMA claimed belonged to 7-UP, blocked the road and created a gridlock on Saturday.

The state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who was reported to have been held in the jam, directed officials to resolve the traffic.

The LASTMA officials were allegedly attacked, while the police were said to have arrested three suspects.

Reacting to the report, a statement on Monday by the Legal Adviser of Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited, Ngozi Giwa-Amu, said the company was not involved in the clash.

“The altercation that ensued around the company’s bottling plant by the end of Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Alausa, Ikeja, was between LASTMA officials and truck drivers of Dangote Group.

“There was not a single vehicle belonging to Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited involved in the melee,” the statement said in part.

The Head of Media, Dangote Group, Esan Sunday, however, said workers of the company were not involved in the incident.

He said, “I don’t think anything like that happened; we were not involved. If we were involved, I would have known because it would have been communicated to us. We have no such report.”

The spokesperson for LASTMA, Mahmud Hassan, said the vehicles that blocked the road were in the area because of Seven-up.

He said, “Those vehicles (blocking the road) were franchise vehicles; you cannot divorce their activities and presence in the area from the business relationship they have with the company. We have written to them so that we could discuss and plan how they would manage their operations with those coming to do business with them, but they did not honour our invitations.

“The people arrested were picked up at the scene of the incident where they launched attacks against our men. They have been arraigned in an Ogba Magistrates’ Court and they have been remanded.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti, did not pick his calls as of press time.

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