Lagos – The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) on Thursday said that officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) were becoming high-handed in their operations.
The state Chairman of CDHR, Mr Alex Omotehinse, made the observation when he led some other members on a courtesy visit to the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa.
He urged the state lawmakers to help in checking the excesses of the officials.
Omotehinse said that there was a need review LASTMA’s ticketing system, as fines for minor traffic offences should not be huge.
The chairman also flayed the practice of arresting and putting people who violated environmental laws or ran across expressways in Black Marias, describing it as `dehumanising`.
He said that such treatment was meant for people who committed serious crimes, urging the state lawmakers to address the issue.
Omotehinse also called on the Lagos State House of Assembly to end the difficulties experienced in perfecting bail conditions in the state.
He said that the committee was committed to the emancipation of the masses and defence of the rights of the common man.
“We are at the vanguard of the defence of the rights of the indigents, we are not satisfied with some issues in the state,’’ he said.
In his response, Obasa commended the CDHR for its concern for the masses, stressing that the Assembly would sustain its relationship with the group.
“I sincerely agree that there is a need to constantly review the activities of the magistrates, transport and environmental officers.
“We will continue to do this; you can write on issues like this and we will be quick to respond because we are here to protect our people and their interests,” he said.
On traffic and environmental issues, the speaker, however, said that no offence was minor; stressing that residents must ensure that they observe and respect the law.
Obasa said the traffic law made provision for an accused to appeal against fines issued by LASTMA.
He said that driving against traffic, street trading and crossing roads where there were pedestrian bridges were violations of the law. (NAN)