A 55-year-old fake traffic officer has been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) over the weekend around Ikoyi area of Lagos for impersonation.
Nigeriacrime.com learned that the suspect identified as Omotutu Bamidele was arrested for extorting huge sums of money from motorists for various traffic offences ranging from seat-belt, obstructions, illegal over-taking and One-way at different locations around Lagos Island.
Confessing to the crime, Bamidele revealed that he has been impersonating with a reflective jacket as a Lastma officer and extorting money from motorists particularly private car owners and drivers at highbrow areas across the State.”
According to Bamidele who lives with his junior brother inside one of the Army Barracks in Lagos, I operate around Ikoyi, Obalende, Apongbon Bridge, Iporin, and Olowu areas, where I apprehend both commercial and private cars for various traffic infractions including driving against traffic (one-way).
“Any motorists particularly private car owners caught dropping someone at any undesignated bus stop pay between N15,000 to N20,000 while those caught for driving against traffic (One-way) paid a minimum of N35,000″
The suspect who hailed from ‘Atijere Town’ in Ondo State said he and his colleagues are making an average of N35,000 from extortions on daily basis.
Confirming his arrest, the Director, Public Affairs Department of LASTMA Mr Adebayo Taofiq said that the suspect was nabbed at Olu Holloway Road by Alfred Rewane area of Ikoyi by a Lastma Monitoring/Surveillance team led by Mr Ashafa Moyosore (Zonal Head).
The Agency carried out special monitoring/Surveillance operations about the suspect and got him arrested in response to complaints from motoring public (Obinna Kingsley and Adewusi Adebola) via Lastma hotlines/social media handles.
Meanwhile, the General Manager Mr Bolaji Oreagba said, it is disheartening getting complaints from road users, particularly motorists on activities of these unscrupulous elements impersonating and extorting money from them”
Mr Oreagba urged the general public to be wary of these fake traffic officers stating that the Agency operates a cashless policy as any violators apprehended are charged to Court with a ‘Referral Notice’ issued to them.
“Let me warn the motoring public to desist from inducing traffic officers in any form (money) as both the giver and taker are liable before the law”
General Manager however warned other impersonators disguised as Lastma personnel to immediately desist from such illegal acts as more surveillance personnel have been strategically deployed to hunt for them.