By Evelyn Usman
FOUR policemen and three officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, alleged to have been extorting motorists in Amuwo Odofin Area of Lagos, met their waterloo yesterday, following their arrest by a joint team of policemen from Area ‘E’ Festac command and X-Squad.
Their arrest followed complaints of their activities from members of the public. Their modus oparandi as gathered, included accusing accosted motorists of either driving against traffic or not having valid documents.
Thereafter, they would inform the ‘erring’ motorists that they were taking them to the station, only to divert to a mechanic workshop close to First Gate, where they extort the motorists.
On receipt of the complaints, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Imohimi Edgal, directed the Area Commander ‘E’ Festac, ACP Yusuf Ajape, and the officer in-Charge of the Command’s X-Squad, Superintendent Alliu Abubakar, to investigate and get the perpetrators arrested.
The officers were said to have carried out a covert operation around the area yesterday and in the process the suspects were caught trying to extort N75,000 from a motorist.
Among the LASTMA officials was a woman.
Explaining how they were arrested, the Command’s spokesman, Chief Superintendent Chike Oti, said: “The four policemen and three LASTMA officials were caught trying to extort one Mr. Waheed Lamidi, whom they gave a bank account to transfer N75,000 into, when he complained that he had no cash.”
He gave identities of the policemen and LASTMA officials as Inspector Charles Omokaro, Inspector Idara Akai, Sergeant Chidi Mordi and Sergeant Joseph Bernard.
Others are Mr. Sam Adekunle, Mr. Omolaja Ige and Mrs. Modinat Folashade.
Edgal, according to Chike, has directed that the suspects be taken to the command headquarters for investigation.
Vanguard gathered that if found culpable, they risked dismissal.