The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) disclosed that 34 of its officers were sacked for extortion in the last 18 months.
Wale Musa, General Manager, LASTMA made this known on Friday.
According to Musa, while 24 were sacked last year, 10 were sacked between January and May 31, 2019, saying that the agency had decided to intensify its enforcement and monitor officers.
“Any officer found wanting will be disciplined accordingly. We have been doing it. This year, nothing less than 10 LASTMA officers were dismissed. Same last year, over 24 were dismissed. We have a system where we can discipline our staff.
“Anyone that has an issue, should please take it up with us, we will deal with it accordingly. We have been seeing so many social media comments on the law, the truth is that the law is meant to be obeyed.
“But we have a system where no LASTMA officer issues you a ticket. The LASTMA officer and yourself will face the law. It is not the right of the LASTMA officer to tell you that you are guilty, it is the court that decides. If members of the public can cooperate with us, we are ready and willing to ensure that the laws are obeyed and that our men work without fear or intimidation and no member of the public will be intimidated,” Musa said.
Meanwhile, two LASTMA officers are currently being investigated for allegedly extorting motorists in the state.
Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, who confirmed the investigation, stated that the present administration was committed to giving adequate support to LASTMA officials towards reducing travel time within the state, but would not condone any government official terrorising the citizens.
Hamzat who disclosed that the two LASTMA officers are currently before the State Disciplinary Management Board, cautioned residents against depositing money for fines into officers’ personal accounts.
“The essence of LASTMA officers on the road was not to harass but to affirm the dictate of the road traffic law and be civil while enforcing it.
“The claim is that the two officers allegedly extorted money from a driver. A petition has been written to the state government by a law firm stating how it happened. The officers have been referred to the agency that has power to discipline them for investigation,” said.