CITIZENS COMPASS– A father of two, Osinachi Ndukwe, on Thursday, narrated how he bagged three months jail term for driving against traffic in Lagos State.
Not only this, his three years old daughter fell sick and died before Osinachi regained his freedom from prison custody.
He narrated his ordeal at the Yard of Lagos State Task Force when his only vehicle bought at the rate of N1.8.million on hire purchase was being auctioned for N450,000.
The State Government through its Ministry of Justice and The State Taskforce, organised the public auction of over 134 abandoned and forfeited vehicles, where a crowd of auctioneers, agents, buyers and vehicle owners tried to outwit one another.
In an emotional laden voice, Osinachi, 31, narrated how he became a commercial driver due to unemployment.
According to him, “I bought the bus at N1.8 million on hire purchase in 2021 and was plying Ijegun enroute Cele Expressway.
The bus was three months old and I had remitted N300,000 when I drove against traffic in Cele area and it was impounded.
“Not only that, I was sentenced to three years imprisonment which I completed recently but before the completion, information reached me that my three years old daughter was ill due to lack of fund and before I completed the jail term, I got information that she had died.
“I am here with my mother with the expectation that we will buy the bus at the rate of N50,000. Surprisingly, the price was closed at N450,000 and we have 48 hours to complete the payment.
“We have sold most of our belongings to feed and are left with nothing. This is a great problem before us. My father died while I was three years old and my mother has been there for me but there is no way she can raise N450,000.
“Who will I turn to at a time many Nigerians are finding it difficult to feed? I don’t know what to do again,” he said.
Speaking to Newsmen at the event was the Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye who stated that the terminating end of any enforcement exercise carried out by the Agency is the Mobile Court who determines the fate of vehicles seized for traffic infractions.
“My role as a Police officer is to carry out enforcement exercises, one of which is confiscation of vehicles for traffic offenses, and handing them over to the mobile court for judgement. I dont determine the fate our outcome of any vehicle brought before the magistrate in court”
Jejeloye enlightened members of the public that traffic offense is not a criminal offense thus the need for any offender who has been arrested to have the boldness and confidence to face the mobile court.
“Some of the cars being auctioned here were confiscated for obstruction of traffic which only attracts a fine but some people never showed up to claim these cars that’s why they have been forfeited to the State Government after the stipulated period and then auctioned” he stated.
Also present at the event was the Coordinator of The Lagos State Special Offenses Mobile Court, Mrs Arinola Ogbara-Banjoko
who described the exercise as seemless and well organised and also disclosed that all 134 vehicles on display had gone through due process of the court of law before being forfeited to the State Government for varying offenses.
CSP Jejeloye further addressed members of the public present at the auction exercise to desist from committing crime or traffic offences as no one would be spared if found wanting. He hoped that this exercise would serve as a deterrent to other road users who are fond of driving against traffic and warned that the long arm of the law would soon catch up with them.