by Tolu Orekoya
It was bad enough that Ibrahim, a local danfo (commercial mini-bus) conductor was stopping to pick up and drop off passengers at illegal drop-off points, but he went on to stab a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officer while fighting to prevent his vehicle from being impounded.
The incident happened last Wednesday, around 3pm, in Ojota, Lagos, when the bus driver was stopped by two LASTMA officials Olalekan Akingbohungbe and Emmanue Alabi. After being stopped, the 28-year-old attacked and tore the officers’ uniforms before stabbing Akingbohungbe in the hand. He then stripped and stood in front of the bus.
The 28-year-old conductor was arrested and arraigned at a special offences tribunal in Alausa on Wednesday.At the tribunal, Ibrahim was charged with breach of public peace, obstructing state officers from carrying out their lawful duty, assault and traffic violation by picking passengers in places that were not bus stops.When his plea was taken, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Magistrate Yetunde Phinero admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50,000 and two sureties in the like sum.Meanwhile, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Babatunde Edu, on Friday warned that the agency would prosecute traffic offenders, especially the violent ones.Edu , who said prosecuting traffic offenders would serve as a deterrent to errant motorists, said the warning became imperative in view of the rising cases of attacks on LASTMA officials in recent times.He said, “LASTMA officials have been trained to be civil in their approach and we do not tolerate act of indiscipline among our officials. But a situation where they are attacked while performing their official duties by errant drivers would no longer be condoned.“The law is no respecter of anybody and it is necessary that motorists obey traffic rules and regulations to ensure sanity on our roads.“Rather than take the laws into their hands, we implore motorists to report errant LASTMA officials and we assure them that we will carry out a thorough investigation and act accordingly. We do not condone any act of indiscipline among our officials and we do not cover them up if they erred.”