The Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences Unit has arrested three persons parading themselves as local government traffic officers and extorting motorists at Oshodi.
A statement by the agency’s Head, Public Affairs Unit, Femi Moliki, revealed that the suspects, who claimed to be officials of the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Council were arrested on Wednesday on the orders of the Chairman of the task force, CSP Shola Jejeloye, after receiving complaints from some of the victims.
The statement read in part, “The suspects are Samuel Oyegbule, 52; Olayiwola Thomas, 53; and Kola Taiwo, 47.
“The suspects had on Tuesday extorted N25,000 from one of their victims for obstruction. Another victim equally alleged that he was extorted the same amount the previous day.
“The first victim, who does not want his name mentioned in the press, said, ‘They walked up to my vehicle while I was waiting for the traffic light on Oyetayo Street. They knocked on my side glass and I wound down to listen to them. They said I had committed a traffic offence and I was forced to the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government secretariat, Oshodi, where I was made to cough up N25,000 as fine.’”
The second victim, a Bolt driver, was quoted as saying, “I was arrested for dropping my client in front of his house on an inner street of Oshodi. It wasn’t a major road or expressway or where there are bus stops. They refused to listen to my explanation. They fined me N25,000.”
The victims alleged that the suspects select vehicles they perceive could meet their demands before arresting the drivers on trumped-up charges and forcing them to the local government secretariat to make payment.
“They also brought into the same place several other vehicles impounded in the same manner like mine and the drivers/owners were made to pay as well. Some of them were made to pay higher amounts,” one of the victims added.
Jejeloye used the opportunity to warn touts and those who illegally issue tickets to motorists on public roads and streets, adding that the task force would continue with the arrest of miscreants posing as local government council officials to extort road users.