The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) has arrested three suspects, who posed as Local Government Traffic officers and extorted motorists in the Oshodi Area of the state.
The suspects were arrested yesterday on the orders of the Chairman, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Shola Jejeloye after receiving complaints from some of their victims.
The suspects, Samuel Oyegbule (52), Olayiwola Thomas (53) and Kola Taiwo (47), had claimed to be working with Oshodi–Isolo Local Government.
According to the Taskforce, “The suspect had yesterday extorted N25,000 from one of their victims for obstruction. Another victim equally alleged he was extorted of the same amount the previous day.”
The first victim who pleaded anonymity said “they walked up to my vehicle while waiting for traffic light in Oyetayo Street. They knocked on my side glass and I wound down to listen to them. They said I have committed a traffic offence and I was forced to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Secretariat, Oshodi, where I was made to cough up N25,000 as fine”.
The second victim, a bolt driver, said “I was arrested for dropping my client in front of his house in the 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 Taskforce said the victims alleged that the suspects select vehicles they know can pay their charges before arresting them on trumped-up charges and forcing them to the local government headquarters to make payment.
“They also brought into the same place several other vehicles arrested in the same manner like mine and they were made to pay as well as. Some of them were made to pay a higher amount”, one of the victims added.
Warning other touts and persons who illegally issue tickets to motorists on public roads and streets, CSP Jejeloye noted that Taskforce would continue with the arrest of miscreants posing as council officials to extort road users.
“I have received a lot of complaints and we have taken time to analyse them. We have made our findings too. Lagos State Government would not tolerate such excesses”, he added.