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LASTMA officials can arrest offenders, impound vehicles, says CEO



Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials can arrest erring motorists and impound their vehicles, the agency’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chris Olakpe, clarified yesterday.

Olakpe, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), was reacting to reports that the officials did not have such powers. 
He spoke while receiving in his office, members of the Humanitarian Voluntary Association for Community Development, who came to condole with him over the death of 18 LASTMA officials in the line of duty last year.

Olakpe said the laws also stipulated penalties for neglect of traffic directions and disobedience of traffic control personnel.
The LASTMA boss said: “One thing the people must know is that the purpose of laws in any state is to regulate human conduct and punish violators, to ensure safety and sanity on the roads and at the same time regulate the function and authority of traffic personnel.”

LASTMA’s findings, he said, showed that gridlock was caused by the unusual driving behaviour of some motorists, adding that it was important for the public to cooperate with traffic officers while on the road.

Instead of taking the law into their hands, motorists should take advantage of LASTMA’s open-door policy by reporting any erring officer, he said.

Olakpe said: “From January to date, over 30 traffic officials have been brutalised by ill-tempered motorists. As an agency, we owe it to our officials and their families the responsibility of ensuring their security and safety while performing their duties,” he said.

He said LASTMA would work with sister agencies and the public to deepen collaboration and cooperation and protect traffic officials.

The vehicle of any motorist, who proved to be an agent provocateur, Olakpe said, would be impounded and taken to LASTMA yard in accordance with the law.
The LASTMA CEO said his men would soon begin another training on civility, politeness and protocol of arrest with emphasis on respect for the public.
He said measures had been put in place to reduce gridlock during Easter and beyond.

Cossy Orjiakor throws G-string pants party
The group’s president, Bankole Odunuga, acknowledged the sacrifice and courage displayed by LASTMA officials, despite the hazards of the job. (The Nation)

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