Oladejo Oluwaseyi, a Lagos-based computer engineer, has narrated how the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials impounded his car parked on the service lane for a minor repair.
On November 23, Oladejo was on his way to Ajah when his car suddenly developed a fault. He moved to the service lane to check what was wrong, parking the car along the Anthony pedestrian bridge.
He opened the car’s bonnet and realised that the battery needed some adjustment. He fixed it, and was about to continue his journey with his brother in the car when a LASTMA official, simply identified as Asiru, “emerged from nowhere”, accusing him of picking a passenger on the road.
“I told him the boy is my brother; we only moved to the service lane to fix our car, but the official insisted I had to be charged,” Oladejo said. “Getting to the office, they ticketed me N50,000. I called the area commander to explain, and he blamed them for what they were doing.”
The officers would not listen to the area commander, who had asked them over the phone not to impound Oladejo’s car illegally.
On December 1, Bolaji Oreagba, LASTMA’s general manager, asked to meet with Oladejo to hear his grievances, but the latter waited for hours before realising the former was not around.
The following day, while trying to recover his car at the LASTMA office in Oshodi, his phone was seized by the officials for filming their harassment of another motorist.
“My phone was seized when I was filming a man whose vehicle the LASTMA officers had impounded,” he said. “The man stripped himself over his impounded car.”
However, Olumide Filade, LASTMA’s spokesman, asked the complainant to visit the office again to resolve the matter.
“We’ll investigate the matter,” he told FIJ. “And if he is found innocent, we’ll release his vehicle to him.”
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