Dear Editor: Have you ever been a victim of “One Way” due to the absence or inconspicuous nature of LASTMA’s “One Way” sign? This has become an increasingly recurrent phenomenon that it leaves one to believe that it is intentional for signs to be absent or inconspicuous.
Early this morning during the rains ( Saturday Aug 7, 2010), I was apprehended by LASTMA Officials (Officers Adepoju and Mabije – Staff number 162021) for making an “illegal left turn” and taking “One Way” at the Sanusi Fafunwa and Karimu Ikotun Junction. I pleaded my innocence because there was no road sign at the junction (picture attached).
On very close inspection with one of the LASTMA officials, I was shown a sign concealed by an Almond fruit tree. I asked the LASTMA official if that sign was visible to road users and he retorted “it is not my fault if the sign is not visible because it is not my duty to cut down trees…” Attached again is the picture of the intersection so that you can see how unjust these LASTMA officials are and how they disparage the good works of the Lagos State Governor.
As I expected, the LASTMA official requested a bribe to let me off – but I rejected the offer because I considered it extortion.
As a result of my refusal to pay the bribe, the official has impounded my car, issued me a ticket for a fine of N50,000 and mandates that I go through psychiatric evaluation before I retrieve my car.
My car is now parked at Adeola Odeku – Victoria Island at “Owners risk” with no evidence of security coverage by LASTMA, I have been unjustly issued a ticket of N50,000 and asked to receive psychiatric evaluation for driving through a “One Way” route which has a sign hidden behind a tree. Obviously, several other persons will be victims of this circumstance.
It is about time that we put an end to this form of extortion by LASTMA. I therefore plead for the Governor’s intervention as this level of injustice undermines the government’s stance on eliminating corruption and injustice in the state.
Car Reg: JU 735 EKY ( Honda Accord 2003 Model)
Booking Location: Adeola Odeku
Apprehending officer: Adepoju/Mabije including a Mr. Ganiyu.
Staff Number: 162021
I have reported this incident to B. Oreagba ( LASTMA Alpha Commander) for V/I and was contacted by one of the operations officer yesterday. However since then, no further contact have been made. As you know, a delay in obtaining justice would discourage people in similar circumstances from resisting extortion.
I will also like you to conduct an independent assessment of my assertion concerning the traffic signage at the Karimu Ikotun/Sanusi Fanfunwa intersection.
Folks: I was a victim of LASTMA antics for extortion/revenue drive on Lagos roads. The e-mail underneath and photograph tells the story.
Progress Update: My lawyers and I were at LASTMA's Adeola Odeku office and the operations officials admitted that the ticket was undeserved. However they claimed they had no authroity to cancel the ticket and referred me to the office of the Special Assistant (SA) of the CEO LASTMA .
Our visit to the SA's office yeilded no results as the officers also claimed that they are unable to cancel the ricket for audit reasons without the permission of the CEO LASTMA or Commissioner for Transport.
It will interest you to know that 3 days after the incident, nothing has been done to make the traffic sign visible - Therefore, it is basically an entrapment.
At this moment, I am torn between chasing this case, putting it in the public domain and paying the fine. My current instinct is to put this case in the public domain and possibly bring it to the attention of the governor.
I am not sure how it will finally play out, but it will fundamentally change my perception of governance......good or bad. Join me in pushing this case into the public domain - I guess it may be impractical to seek redress through the judicial system
I apologize for taking your time.