Chidiebere Nwaiwu, a commercial transporter, has accused officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) of attempting to extort N60,000 from him after confiscating his car unjustly at about 11 am on Monday.
Speaking with FIJ on Monday, Nwaiwu said a mechanic was driving his Toyota Sienna along Airport road in Oshodi, Lagos, to ascertain what the problem was when the car ran out of fuel.
The mechanic then parked by the roadside to avoid causing a gridlock, and rushed to get fuel from the nearest filling station.
“But in less than 10 minutes after the mechanic left, LASTMA officials came to tow my car away. The officials did not care to listen to what the mechanic had to say. Next, they said he parked in the middle of the road,” Nwaiwu said.
He also said he knew the officers wanted to extort some money from him the moment he spoke to them over the phone.
“When I got to their office at Oshodi, they delayed me for hours. They claimed their boss who would handle my case was not around. After waiting for hours, I spoke to her on the phone and she said I should pay to get my car. She claimed that my mechanic parked in the centre of the road,” Nwaiwu said.
“The men at the office said I would pay N50,000 for my offence and N10,000 for towing the vehicle. Although I have talked to them tirelessly since yesterday, they still insist that if I want to get my car, I must pay.”
When FIJ called Olumide Filade, LASTMA spokesperson, he said he would not say anything to this reporter, saying FIJ had portrayed his organisation in a bad light. This is, however, in reference to FIJ’s undercover investigation that exposed corrupt LASTMA officials extorting motorists.
“I am not going to say anything to your organisation, not after what you guys did. It is not done,” he said.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.