CITIZENS COMPASS- A retiree in Lagos State, Mr Matthew Akinrefon, has narrated how some men, who claimed to be traffic officers from Ikotun-Igando Local Council Development Area, LCDA, demanded the sum of N30,000 from him over an alleged traffic offence.
However, he ended up paying N12,000.
Narrating his ordeal, the 74 years old victim said he had already parted with N12, 000 and was in the process of sourcing for the remaining N18,000 balance before a superior council officer intervened in the matter and left off the hook.
He said: “I was coming from Iyana Ipaja going towards OJO. When we got to Igando, my wife alighted to look for plantain. As I tried to move forward to look for where to pack my car, a man just opened the door and told me that I should move forward. The next thing he told me was ‘What do you have for us? I said I have nothing to give as a bribe but pray for him. He led me to Igando health centre. He handed me over to another man, who demanded N75,000 being half of what I am to pay. At the end we came to an agreement to pay N30,000 without receipt.
“I begged them that I’m an army pensioner and a septuagenarian but they fined me with the sum of N30, 000 and insisted on me paying before they could let me go.
But my entire plea to let me go fell on deaf ears; I had N12,000 on me which they collected from me and insisted on collecting the balance of N18,000.
“I was still looking for the balance, at Igando Health Centre where my vehicle was forcefully impounded to, when a senior council officer, who preferred anonymity, intervened and prevailed on them before I was let off. After the intervention, they still did not return my N12,000.”
Contacted, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, condemned the act, vowing that the suspects would be fished out and prosecuted accordingly.
The Lagos State Government had banned the operations and activities of any special taskforce under the pretext of traffic management across the council, empowering only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, established by law to manage traffic situations across the state.