The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) agents of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) arrested another persistent false traffic cop in the state’s Ikoyi neighborhood.
The suspect was apprehended at Olu Holloway Road by Alfred Rewane area of Ikoyi by the agency’s Monitoring/Surveillance team led by Mr. Ashafa Moyosore, according to a statement from the general manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, released on Sunday, March 26, 2023, by the director of the public affairs department, Mr. Adebayo Taofiq. (Zonal Head).
Mr. Oreagba added that the Agency conducted a special monitoring/surveillance operation regarding the suspect as a result of reports made by members of the driving public (Obinna Kingsley and Adewusi Adebola) via Lastma hotlines and social media accounts.
The results of the investigation showed that the detained suspect had been extorting significant amounts of money from drivers at various places around Lagos Island for a variety of traffic offenses, including seat-belt, obstructions, unlawful overtaking, and one-way.
“It is disheartening getting complaints from road users particularly motorists on activities of these unscrupulous elements impersonating and extorting money from them,” he said.
Mr. Oreagba warned the public to be cautious of these fictitious traffic agents, noting that the Agency has a cashless policy and that anyone caught for a violation is given a “Referral Notice” and brought to court.
The General Manager issued a warning to other imposters posing as Lastma employees, telling them to stop their unlawful activities right away because more surveillance people have been carefully placed to look for them.
Mr. Omotutu Bamidele, the 55-year-old culprit who was apprehended, admitted to posing as a Lastma cop and extorting money from vehicles, especially private car owners/drivers, in upscale areas throughout the State.
Mr. Bamidele, who confirmed that he was residing inside an army barracks in Lagos with his younger brother, further admitted that he had been operating in the Ikoyi, Obalende, Apongbon Bridge, Iporin, and Olowu areas and had stopped both commercial and private vehicles for a variety of traffic violations, including driving against traffic. (one-way).
“Any motorists, particularly private car owners I catchdropping someone at any undesignated bus stop paid between N15,000 to N20,000 while those caught for driving against traffic (One-way) paid a minimum of N35,000,” the suspect said.
One Mr. Adewusi Adebola (a complainant) confirmed that the suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) apprehended him for ‘obstruction’ on the 6th of March, 2023 around Spac bus stop by Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and collected N20,000 from him for dropping his colleagues.
While Obinna Kingsley complaint via one of the Lastma social media handles (Twitter) that he was forced to transferred N50,000 to the arrested suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) for ‘Obstruction’ on Awolowo Road by Obalende Bridge towards Tafawa Balewa Square (T.B.S).
“Honestly speaking I had written series of negative stories about activities of Lastma on social media particularly on ‘Twitter’ since the ugly incidents happened until I was called by Lastma Management that the man I reported that extorted money from me was a fake traffic Officer and that he has been arrested,” said Mr. Adewusi Adebola, owner of a Toyota Corolla (LSR 299 AY).
According to the Director, Legal Department (Lastma), Barr. Akerele Kehinde, the apprehended culprit will be charged to court with all items seized from him (a false identification card and a reflective jacket) on Monday, March 27, 2023, in compliance with the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State.
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