LASTMA catches fake traffic cop extorting money from motorists in Lagos
LASTMA Managing Director, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, in a statement issued on Sunday, March 26, 2023, by tDirector of the Public Affairs Department, Mr Adebayo Taofiq, said the suspect was arrested at Olu Holloway Road by the Alfred Rewane ward of Ikoyi by the agency’s surveillance/surveillance team headed by Mr Ashafa Moyosore (area chief).
Mr. Oreagba further confirmed that the Agency conducted special surveillance/surveillance operations on the suspect and had him arrested in response to complaints from the motoring public (Obinna Kingsley and Adewusi Adebola) via Lastma hotlines/handles of social media.
The investigation conducted revealed that the arrested suspect had extorted huge sums of money from motorists for various traffic violations ranging from seat belts, obstructions, illegal overtaking and one-way traffic at different locations around of the island of Lagos.
“It is disheartening to receive complaints from road users, especially motorists, about the activities of these unscrupulous elements who impersonate them and extort money from them,” he said. .
Mr Oreagba urged the general public to beware of these bogus traffic cops, saying the Agency operates a cashless policy as any apprehended offender is charged in court with a ‘dismissal notice’ issued to them. .
“Let me warn motorists to refrain from misleading traffic cops in any form (money) as both giver and taker are liable under the law,” he said. he declares.
The managing director, however, warned other impersonators disguised as Lastma staff to desist from such illegal acts immediately, as more surveillance personnel have been strategically deployed to hunt them down.
The arrested suspect, Mr. Omotutu Bamidele, 55, confessed to impersonating a Lastma officer with a reflective jacket and extorting money from motorists, especially private car owners/drivers in the areas. state scholars.
Mr. Bamidele, who confirmed living with his younger brother inside one of the army barracks in Lagos, further confessed to operating around Ikoyi, Obalende, Apongbon Bridge, Iporin, Olowu apprehending commercial and private cars for various traffic offenses including driving. against traffic (one way).
The suspect from ‘Atijere town’ in Ondo state said he and his colleagues earned an average of 35,000 naira from daily extortion.
“All motorists especially private car owners I catch someone at any undesignated bus stop paid between N15,000 and N20,000 while those who were arrested for driving at countercurrent (one way) paid a minimum of N35,000,” the suspect said.
A Mr Adewusi Adebola (a plaintiff) confirmed that the suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) apprehended him for ‘obstruction’ on March 6, 2023 around Spac bus stop near Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and collected 20,000 N of him for letting his co-workers down. .
As Obinna Kingsley complains via one of the social media Lastma (Twitter) that he was forced to transfer N50,000 to the arrested suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) for ‘obstruction’ on Awolowo Road by Obalende Bridge towards the square Tafawa Balewa (TBS).
“Honestly, I had been writing a series of negative stories about Lastma’s activities on social media, especially on ‘Twitter’ since the ugly incidents happened until Lastma Management called me that the man I reported who extorted money from me was a bogus traffic cop and has been arrested,” said Mr. Adewusi Adebola, owner of a Toyota Corolla (LSR 299 AY).
Meanwhile, Chief Legal Officer (Lastma) Barr. Akerele Kehinde disclosed that the arrested suspect will be arraigned with all items recovered from him (fake ID and reflective jacket) on Monday, March 27, 2023) as per the Lagos State Penal Code.