Operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) over the weekend nabbed another serial fake traffic officer around the Ikoyi area of Lagos.

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In a press statement released by the Director, Public Affairs Department of LASTMA Mr. Adebayo Taofiq, quoting the General Manager, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, confirmed that the suspect was nabbed at Olu Holloway Road by Alfred Rewane area of Ikoyi by a LASTMA Monitoring/Surveillance team led by Mr. Ashafa Moyosore (Zonal Head).

Mr. Oreagba confirmed further that the agency carried out a special monitoring/Surveillance operations about the suspect and got him arrested in response to complaints from the motoring public (Obinna Kingsley & Adewusi Adebola) via Lastma hotlines/social media handles.

The investigation conducted revealed that the arrested suspect has been extorting huge sums of money from motorists for various traffic offences ranging from seat-belt, obstructions, illegal overtaking and One-way at different locations around Lagos Island.

“It is disheartening getting complaints from road users, particularly motorists, on activities of these unscrupulous elements impersonating and extorting money from them”

Mr.Oreagba urged the general public to be wary of these fake traffic officers stating that the agency operates a cashless policy as any violators apprehended are charged to Court with a ‘Referral Notice’ issued to them.

“Let me warn motoring public to desist from inducing traffic officers in any form (money) as both the giver and taker are liable before the law”

General Manager, however, warned other impersonators disguised as LASTMA personnel to immediately desist from such illegal acts as more surveillance personnel have been strategically deployed to hunt for them.

The arrested suspect Mr. Omotutu Bamidele (55yrs) confessed to having been impersonating with a reflective jacket as a LASTMA officer and extorting money from motorists, particularly private car owners/ drivers in highbrow areas across the state.

Mr. Bamidele, who confirmed to be living with his junior brother inside one of the Army Barracks in Lagos confessed, further to have operated around Ikoyi, Obalende, Apongbon Bridge, Iporin, Olowu areas apprehending both commercial and private cars for various traffic infractions including driving against traffic (one-way).

The suspect, who hailed from ‘Atijere Town’ in Ondo State, said he and his colleagues are making an average of N35,000 from extortions on daily basis.

“Any motorists, particularly private car owners I caught dropping someone at any undesignated bus stop, paid between N15,000 to N20,000 while those caught for driving against traffic (One-way) paid a minimum of N35,000.”

One Mr. Adewusi Adebola (a complainant) confirmed that the suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) apprehended him for ‘obstruction’ on the 6th of March, 2023, around Spac bus stop by Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and collected N20,000 from him for dropping his colleagues.

While Obinna Kingsley complaint via one of the LASTMA social media handles (Twitter) that he was forced to transfer N50,000 to the arrested suspect (Omotutu Bamidele) for ‘Obstruction’ on Awolowo Road by Obalende Bridge towards Tafawa Balewa Square (T.B.S).