By Olasunkanmi Akoni
lagos—In continuation of efforts to stem the tide of corruption among the state traffic officials, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, has arrested eight of its officials for collecting bribe from motorists and other corrupt practices.
The officials, who are attached to the Agege-Pen Cinema Office of the Agency, were arrested last week. They are Adebeshin Adeola, Davies Idowu, Folashade Abolade, Shittu Lanre, Akinkotu Olusoga, Olowu Said, Olaoye Peter and Adebola Said.
The duo of Adeshina and Davies had earlier arrested two Lagos painted commercial buses with registration numbers FKJ 770 XT and KRD 558 XM driven by one Olatunji Mayowa and Donatus Eze respectively at Abule Egba area of the State for seat belt violation.
The actions of the drivers were in violations of the Lagos State Traffic laws, and the buses were subsequently apprehended and taken to the Agege-Pen Cinema Office of the Agency.
However, the matter took a new twist at the Agege Office when the apprehending officials in conjunction with the General Duty Officer demanded for the sum of N7,200 from each of the bus drivers before the release of the buses.
The drivers, knowing the position of LASTMA on corruption and having listened to various media programmes where official complaint numbers were given, alerted the Agency and marked currency were given to the complainants and collected by the officials in a successful sting operation organized and coordinated by the Provost Marshal of the Agency, Mr Femi Ajibosho.
The Provost Marshal arrived when Abolade was about collecting N7,200 from Donatus Eze, while the collected marked money of N7,200 of Olatunji Mayowa was found on her after search.
In the same vein and at the same location, the members of the patrol team of the Agency comprising Shittu Lanre, Akinkotu Olusoga, Olowu Said, Olaoye Peter and Adebola Said also arrested a vehicle for traffic laws violation and asked Abolade to facilitate collection of bribe on their behalf from the alleged offender before the release of the vehicle.
All the traffic officials involved in this act have been released on bail, but will face the full weight of the state Public Service Rules and Regulations.
The Agency recently dismissed 20 officials for various corrupt practices and 15 others received letters of warning for various acts considered inimical to the Agency and service of the Lagos State Government.