Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have arrested a 27-year-old man, David Oluchukwu, for allegedly parading himself as LASTMA traffic officer in Lekki area of the state.
The suspect, who was arrested on Wednesday, December 14, allegedly confessed to impersonating as a LASTMA official and ext%rting money from different motorists particularly commercial bus drivers apprehended for viol@ting traffic laws across the state.
LASTMA General Manager, Bolaji Oreagba, in a statement on Thursday, explained that the suspect was nabbed by a LASTMA patrol team while on duty monitoring and controlling traffic around the Lekki axis.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the agency revealed that the arrested suspect belonged to a criminal gang and they have been ext%rting huge sum of money from innocent motorists apprehended for various traffic offences ranging from seat-belt, obstructions, illegal over-taking and One-way at different locations across the State.
The suspect was apprehended after our patrol team sighted him fully kitted with a LASTMA uniform on a black jean collecting money from different commercial bus drivers who were illegally dropping and picking passengers under the Lekki bridge.
The suspect, who hailed from ‘Ukpu’ in Anambra State, confessed to be making an average of N40,000 everyday from the illegal traffic business,” the statement read.
Speaking with newsmen, the suspect said, “Any motorists I caught driving against traffic paid a minimum of N50,000 while other traffic violators were charged with different fines.
I hereby, appeal to the state Govrnor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and state government to temper justice with mercy. It was done out of economic hardship.”
Following the incident, the Director, Legal Department LASTMA, Barr. Akerele Kehinde, disclosed that the arrested suspect would be charged to court on Thursday (today) in accordance with the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State.
Mr.Oreagba urged motorists to be wary of fake officers demanding money from them stating that the “agency operates a cashless policy as any violators apprehended are charged to court with a referral notice”
He however warned those impersonating LASTMA officials to desist from such illegal acts saying that more surveillance personnel have been deployed to strategic locations to hunt for those extorting innocent motorists under the pretext of the agency.
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