Echonews Nigeria Community News

Echonews – GET the latest community news from Nigeria

LASTMA arrests fake traffic officer at Ikoyi

Share

By Rasaq Adebayo


Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) over the weekend nabbed another serial fake traffic officer around Ikoyi area of Lagos.

In a statement released by the Director, Public Affairs Department of LASTMA, Mr. Adebayo Taofiq, the General Manager, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba confirmed that the suspect was nabbed at Olu Holloway Road by Alfred Rewane area of Ikoyi by a LASTMA Monitoring/Surveillance team led by Mr. Ashafa Moyosore (Zonal Head).

Oreagba stated further that the Agency carried out a special monitoring/Surveillance operations about the suspect and got him arrested in response to complaints from motoring public (Obinna Kingsley & Adewusi Adebola) via Lastma hotlines/social media handles.

Advertisement

“Investigation conducted revealed that the arrested suspect have been extorting huge sum of money from motorists for various traffic offences ranging from seat-belt, obstructions, illegal over-taking and One-way at different locations around the Lagos Island.

“It is disheartening getting complaints from road users particularly motorists on activities of these unscrupulous elements impersonating and extorting money from them.”

Oreagba, therefore, urged the general public to be wary of the fake traffic officers, stating that the Agency operates a cashless policy, saying that violators apprehended are charged to court with a ‘Referral Notice’ issued to them.

He warned motoring public to desists from inducing traffic officers in any form (money) as both the giver and taker are liable before the law.

He  also warned other impersonators disguising as LASTMA personnel to immediately desist from such illegal acts as more surveillance personnel have been strategically deployed to hunt for them.

Advertisement

The arrested suspect, Mr. Omotutu Bamidele (55yrs) confessed to have been impersonating with a reflective jacket as a LASTMA officer, extorting money from motorists particularly private car owners and drivers at highbrow areas across the State.

Bamidele, who confirmed to be living with his junior brother in one of the Army Barracks in Lagos, confessed further to have operated around Ikoyi, Obalende, Apongbon Bridge, Iporin, Olowu areas apprehending both commercial and private cars for various traffic infractions including driving against traffic (one-way).

The suspect, who hailed from Atijere Town in Ondo State, said he and his colleagues made an average of N35,000 from extortions daily.

“Any motorists particularly private car owners I caught dropping someone at any undesignated bus stop paid between N15,000 to N20,000 while those caught for driving against traffic (One-way) paid a minimum of N35,000,” he said.

One Mr. Adewusi Adebola (a complainant) confirmed that the suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) apprehended him for ‘obstruction’ on the 6th of March, 2023 around Spac bus stop by Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and collected N20,000 from him for dropping his colleagues.

Advertisement

Obinna Kingsley complaint via one of the Lastma social media handles (Twitter) that he was forced to transfer N50,000 to the arrested suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) for ‘Obstruction’ on Awolowo Road by Obalende Bridge towards Tafawa Balewa Square (T.B.S).

Mr. Adewusi Adebola, owner of a Toyota Corolla (LSR 299 AY) explained: “Honestly speaking I had written series of negative stories about activities of Lastma on social media particularly on ‘Twitter’ since the ugly incidents happened until I was called by Lastma Management that the man I reported that extorted money from me was a fake traffic officer and that he has been arrested.”

Meanwhile, the Director, Legal Department (Lastma), Barr. Akerele Kehinde disclosed that the arrested suspect would be charged to court with all items recovered from him (fake identity card & a reflective jacket) on Monday, 27th of March, 2023) in accordance with the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State.

Advertisement