By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Five officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have been arrested for extorting motorists with the help of men in mufti at various locations in the State.
The traffic officials who were arrested last week, include: Bamidele Shehu, a level seven traffic officer aged 48 and resident of 68, Oke Popo Street, Lagos Island; Ope Adisa, aged 32 and level 5 traffic officer of 8, Freeman Street, Lagos Island and Babatunde Aluko 37 years old traffic officer level 4 of 15, Oriwu street, Ikorodu.
The trio were arrested following a complaint to the agency by one Akinmolayan Babatunde, a clearing agent, for impounding his container truck with number plates: AA 553 NGW, illegally, at Marina area of the Lagos Island and subsequently demanded N80,000 as bribe by the traffic officers before the vehicle could be released.
Akinmolayan said all pleas to allow the truck to go in order to meet up with delivery time fell on deaf ears as the traffic officials and the men in mufti engaged him in fisticuffs, adding that it took the intervention of the zonal head and after parting with N7, 000 to some men in mufti that the vehicle was eventually released and allowed to go.
In the same vein, the duo of Jimo Olaosebikan and Emmanuel Padonu were arrested by the surveillance unit and provost officials of the Agency at Okokomaiko and Mile 12.
While Olaosebikan was arrested by men of LASTMA surveillance team unit at Okokomaiko along Lagos- Badagry expressway for illegally collecting a sum of N20,000 from a female motorist whom he alleged to have made an illegal u-turn at Okokomaiko.
Padonu, on his part, was picked up by Provost officials for using men in mufti to collect money from commercial drivers at Mile 12 area of Kosofe Local Government of Lagos State Wednesday morning.