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19.12.2021 news A Truck Caught Fire, Passengers Put it Out, LASTMA Came to Tow it Away. And They Want N100,000

Published 19th Dec, 2021

By Emmanuel Uti

Ajibola Adewale, a truck owner, has accused the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) of attempting to extort N100,000 from him after confiscating his truck unjustly on Sunday at the Ijora-Olopa Bus Stop in Ijora, Lagos.

Speaking with FIJ, Adewale said his truck was heading to Apapa port on Sunday when it caught fire on the bridge at the Ijora-Olopa Bus Stop at 7 am.

“The driver observed that the truck was not moving as it should. When he alighted to check what was happening, he saw fire underneath the truck. He raised the alarm, and well-meaning passers-by helped him put the fire out,” Adewale told FIJ.

READ ALSO: UNDERCOVER: From Ikeja to Lekki, LASTMA Officials Operate Like a Criminal Gang

Being that Ijora-Olopa is very close to a police station, the driver met with police officers to explain himself. They asked for a tip and he gave them N5,000 to avoid the wrath of police officers. After mechanics repaired the truck, they decided to test it. But LASTMA officials soon arrived at the scene.

“The next thing the LASTMA officials said was that it was not police officers’ job to say anything about the truck. And while the mechanics were still talking, a LASTMA officer hopped in the truck and drove to their office at phase three at Ijora,” he said.

READ ALSO: LASTMA Officials Seize Car Parked for Repairs, Demand N50,000

“Initially, Adebimpe (a LASTMA officer) told the mechanic to come back on Monday. Later, when the mechanic met him in the office, he asked, ‘How much will you bring?’ The mechanic offered N25,000, but he said he would collect N100,000.”

The truck is still in LASTMA’s office and they are expecting the mechanic to return with a bribe on Monday.

FIJ made several calls to Olumide Filade, LASTMA spokesperson, but they were not answered. At press time, he had not responded to a text message sent to him.

Published 19th Dec, 2021

By Emmanuel Uti

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