By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos – The Lagos State Government has vowed to prosecute anyone caught assaulting officers in the course of carrying out their official duties and responsibilities.
Mr Olajide Oduyoye, General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), in a statement on Tuesday, condemned the recent increase in reported cases of assault on Lagos State Traffic officers by unscrupulous members of the public.
Oduyoye recalled a recent incident of assault by a commercial bus driver at Costain, saying that the Lagos State Government would, henceforth, prosecute and severely punish offenders.
He said that the state would also prosecute and punish motorists and other road users who violated traffic laws.
According to him, the driver of a commercial bus with registration number FST 300 XV, now at large, plying the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor contrary to the law, was accosted by a Traffic Officer at Costain, Iponri, Surulere.
”The driver, however, knocked down the officer as well as the commercial motorcyclist and injured his passenger while trying to escape enforcement,” he said.
Oduyoye gave assurance that the commercial bus driver would be apprehended and warned members of the public to desist from attacking LASTMA officials in the course of their traffic control duties.
Meanwhile, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), has said that a five-count charge has been instituted against the wanted driver at the Special Offences Court of Lagos State sitting at Oshodi, Lagos.
The five-count charge includes willful obstruction, driving against oncoming traffic, physical assault of traffic officers, resisting arrest by vandalising LASTMA vehicle and use of restricted BRT corridor.
The Magistrate, before adjourning the case to Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, granted the two applications made by the prosecution counsel – Abiola Olateju, Kehinde Akerele and Aderemi Amu – that the vehicle be held in the custody of the Lagos State Taskforce on Special Offences until the defendant appears.
The Magistrate said that the vehicle shall be forfeited to government after the expiration of one month.