BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI AND MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS – AS part of measures to curb reported excesses on enforcement of the state’s traffic laws, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, has ordered junior officers in its rank to stop arresting erring motor-cycle riders and motorists in the state forthwith.
The action is taken in a bid to checkmate aggressive enforcement of the state’s traffic law by LASTMA.
On the barring of junior LASTMA officers from enforcement of road traffic law, the General Manager of LASTMA, Engr. Babatunde Edu, gave the order in his address at a public forum on the Law, organised by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, at the weekend.
According to Edu, the move was a spontaneous measure to respond to the complaints against aggressive law enforcement by junior officers.
He urged the public to report any junior officer who victimises or harasses them, saying they have been stripped of the power to arrest.
While urging members of the public not to take laws into their hands when unlawfully arrested, Edu said the officers are to render assistance to the motorists in ensuring traffic laws are voluntarily complied with.
He charged members of the public to take note of the names of such officers, insisting that junior officers have been warned not to arrest again following the complaints of aggressive enforcement.
He said: “You can easily identify the junior officer with black epaulet on their shoulders; they cannot arrest, only the senior ones with red epaulets on their uniforms can arrest.
We have stopped the juniors from arresting motorists and okada riders except during a joint operation. That is the extent we have gone in checkmating aggressive enforcement of the law”