Spot the difference: LASTMA orders junior officers to stop arresting traffic offenders

by Isi Esene

The Lagos State government  appears to be taking pro-active measures to curb the perceived excesses of officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).

In a recent directive, the management of the authority has ordered its junior officers to desist from arresting erring motorcycle riders and motorists in the state forthwith.

The managing director of the authority, Babatunde Edu, reportedly disclosed this at a public forum organized by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) to discuss the enforcement of the new traffic law during the weekend.

He said the move was necessitated to address the complaint of road users over the aggressive nature of junior officers in enforcing traffic laws.

He advised motorists not to take the law into their hands whenever they feel unjustly arrested. Rather he advised them to note the name and rank of the LASTMA official with a view to lodging a formal complaint to the management of the authority.

According to him, officers are to render assistance to the motorists in ensuring traffic laws are voluntarily complied with.

“You can easily identify the junior officer with black epaulet on their shoulders; they cannot arrest, only the senior ones with red epaulets on their uniforms can arrest.

“We have stopped the juniors from arresting motorists and ‘okada’ riders except during a joint operation. That is the extent we have gone in checkmating aggressive enforcement of the law,” he said.

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