By ONOZURE DANIA AND MICHAEL OLADEPO
LAGOS— A 54 year old commercial bus driver Isaac Popoola, was yesterday killed by a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, official at Brown Bus stop in Oshodi, around 6.30a.m.
Narrating what led to the death of Popoola, his conductor, Aremu Salau, who’s is 56 years old, said that they loaded the bus with 17 passengers from Isheri heading towards Oshodi, when about seven LASTMA, officials double crossed their bus.
According to him,Popoola asked the LASTMA officials, why they wanted him to come down since he didn’t contravene any traffic law. But the LASTMA officials kept insisting that he should get down from the bus.
The conductor, added that the passengers in the vehicle also intervened by asking what the driver did.
But when the LASTMA officials did not listen to them and when they saw that it was taking another turn, they all had to get down and went their different ways, since they were all going to work.
He said the LASTMA officials continued to struggle with Popoola, and in the process, they started beating him on the head with the iron of the vehicle’s seat belt.
They also began hitting his head against the bus frame and in the process, the driver fainted.
When they saw that he had fainted the LASTMA officials ran away one after the other, but the people in the area were able to catch one of them, who said that it was his commandant that asked them to go after the driver.
The conductor said that while he was looking for people to help him convey the driver to the hospital he found out that people had already held one of the LASTMA officials and they had taken him to Isheri Police Station.
Reacting to the allegation, the public relations officer of LASTMA, Bola Ajao said that the Management of LASTMA, has dissociated itself from incident that led to the death of a commercial bus driver at Oshodi-Isale, Lagos.
In a statement released by the GM of the agency, Engr. Babatunde Edu at LASTMA Headquarters, Oshodi, the alleged officers -Adesanya Olatunde and Ogunride Oludele- acted on their own contrary to the operational guidelines of the agency.
Edu further said that Adesanya was identified by the Provost Marshall of the agency and handed over to the police while Oludele who was reported to be off-duty as at the time of the incident was still at large. He re-affirmed that the duo, were operating illegally at Oshodi this morning when the deceased driver slumped on steering.