Five commercial drivers are currently stuck at Iganmu (underbridge), Lagos, as some corrupt officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) insist on collecting bribes from drivers who broke traffic rules to escape robbery.
FIJ gathered that the drivers were on the Mile 2 Expressway at about 12 midnight on Wednesday when some residents alerted them of an ongoing robbery ahead.
“Shortly after turning back, we were arrested by these LASTMA officials,” said Daniel Ezekiel, one of the drivers. “They didn’t take us to any office, but have kept all of us under the bridge since midnight. Now, they have asked me to pay N100,000 for my release.”
Jude Oguanma, a driver with Peace Mass Transit, said he had just arrived at Lagos from Abuja with a vehicle fully loaded with passengers before the incident.
An old woman among the passengers also told FIJ that she had pleaded with the LASTMA officials, but to no avail.
“I have begged them to let us go, but they wouldn’t listen,” she said. “I have not eaten anything since we started this journey on Tuesday. They said they would only collect N70,000 from my driver because of me.”
“This driver broke the traffic in the face of a threat to life, yet LASTMA officials are doing this to all of us.”
While trying to take a picture of the happening on Wednesday, Ezekiel’s phone was seized by LASTMA officials and had not been released as of press time.
However, the victims contacted Kehinde Akerele, LASTMA’s legal director, and he promised to speak with the officials on duty.
FIJ also placed calls to Akerele’s phone number, but it was busy as of press time.
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