By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
LAGOS-THE fate of three officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority LASTMA is currently hanging on the balance after they were alleged to have forcefully and brazenly collected bribes from motorists at different occasions. Thought the names of the light finger traffic officers were not given sources said, they allegedly trumped up traffic offences against them and collected money ranging from N13,000 to N20,000 from them.
A statement from the Director of Public relations Department of LASTMA, Adebayo Taofiq made available to CrimeWorld magazine online said the authority got to know through a publication in one of the national dailies adding that a 7-man disciplinary committee had been set up to look into the allegation and come up with appropriate sanctions where necessary.
The statement reads in full: “The attention of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has been drawn to a publication inside Punch Newspaper on pages 28/29 with the caption ‘Anger as LASTMA officials clamp down on motorists with trumped-up charges’ dated 18th of Nov. 2022 where 3 officials of the Agency were alleged to have collected N13.000, N15.000 and N20.000 respectively from different commercial bus drivers in Lagos.
The General Manager of (LASTMA), Mr. Bolaji Oreagba disclosed over the weekend the Agency had summoned all officials mentioned inside the publication to appear before a 7-man investigation panel set up to thoroughly look into those allegations as published.
Mr. Oreagba disclosed further that all evidence contained inside the publication (Punch) would be thoroughly scrutinized by the panel and any officials fond culpable would be made to face the consequences under the extant rule of the State Civil Service as specified. “We have set up a 7-man investigation panel to thoroughly look into those alleged extortions levied against some of our officials and I assured the public that the outcome of the panel would be made public particularly by same Punch newspaper. We have it on record that some of our officials alleged to have found wanting for official misconduct or unethical behaviour recently are currently facing disciplinary panel as the management would not condone any act of indiscipline from any official.”
While encouraging members of the public to always come forward with their complaint with evidence against any misbehaved officials via the Agency ‘Complaint hotlines’ (08100565860/08174722227/08129928597), the General Manager however, pointed out that there are many LASTMA officials that are doing dedicated, conscientious and professional in carrying out their official functions as observed during the LASTMA Connect programme aired on Traffic Radio with many Lagosians acknowledging the good work of traffic control personnel.
He advised all road users in Lagos to obey the traffic regulations so as not to run afoul of the Law, stressing that some violators are fond of offering traffic personnel bribes to avoid prosecution without realizing that the law frowns on both giver and the taker. The General Manager pointed out that any motorists with genuine complaint or report should equally reach out to LASTMA via the Agency’s various social media channels (Instagram- ekolastma), (Twitter- @followlastma), (email –firstname.lastname@example.org), (Facebook -ekolastma) and (YouTube – LastmaTV
COPYWRIGHT CRIMEWORLD: All rights reserved. It is an offense to either broadcast, reproduce, rewrite, publish and redistribute this material partly or wholly without the express permission from Frontpage CrimeWorld Publishers Nigeria Limited, Publishers of CrimeWorld Magazines and weekly newspapers