*We ‘ll fish them out for prosecution—Lagos govt
A 74 year old pensioner, Mr Matthew Akinrefon, on Wednesday, narrated how some men, who claimed to be traffic officers of Ikotun-Igando Local Council Development Authority, LCDA, extorted N12,000 from him over alleged traffic offence.
The Lagos State Government had banned the operations and activities of any special taskforce under the pretext of traffic management across council, empowering only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, established by law to manage traffic situation across the state.
Narrating his ordeal, the victim said he had already parted with N12, 000 and in the process of sourcing for the remaining N18,000 balance before a superior council officer intervened in the matter and left off the hook.
Mr Akinrefon said: “I was coming from Iyana Ipaja going towards OJO. When we got to Igando, my wife alighted to look for plantain. As I tried to move forward to look for where to pack my car, a man just opened the door and told me that I should move forward. The next thing he told me was ‘What do you have for us? I said I have nothing to give as a bribe but pray for him. He led me to Igando health centre. He handed me over to another man, who demanded for N75,000 being half of what I am to pay. At the end we come to an agreement to pay N30,000 without receipt.
“I begged them that I’m an army pensioner and a septuagenarian but they fined me with the sum of N30, 000 and insisted on me paying before they can let me go.
“But my entire plea to let me go fell on deaf ears; I had N12,000 on me which they collected from me and insisted on collecting the balance of N18,000.
“I was still looking for the balance, at Igando Health Centre where my vehicle was forcefully impounded to, when a senior council officer, who preferred anonymity, intervened and prevailed on them before I was let off. After the intervention, they still did not return my N12,000.”
We ‘ll fish them out for prosecution—Lagos govt
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, condemned the act, vowing that the suspects would be fished out and prosecuted accordingly.
Giwa said: “I can assure you that we will get to the root of this embarrassing, indiscipline act.
“Our monitoring team will be deployed to investigate the alleged extortion this some yet to be identified council officers for prosecution.
“Enforcement of traffic management by council officials is illegal and remains so in the state.”