Nigeria: Suspected LASTMA Impersonator Confesses to Making N250K Weekly

Nigeria: Suspected LASTMA Impersonator Confesses to Making N250K Weekly

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

In a shocking revelation, a suspected serial impersonator, Mr. Femi Adegbemi, aged 56, has been apprehended by operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA). The apprehension took place after Adegbemi was found to have collected a substantial sum of N140,000 from unsuspecting owners of vehicles impounded over traffic infractions in Lagos State.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Olalekan Bakare-Oki, confirmed the arrest and cautioned the public to be vigilant against such unscrupulous elements. He emphasized that LASTMA operates a cashless policy, and any violators apprehended are charged to court via a ‘Referral Notice’ issued to them.

To combat this issue, Bakare-Oki revealed that more surveillance and monitoring personnel have been deployed across the state to track down and apprehend such individuals who are duping the innocent motoring public.

Mr. Taofiq Adebayo, the Director of Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, disclosed that Adegbemi was apprehended by the monitoring and surveillance team at Oshodi. Adebayo further explained that the suspect was identified after the agency received numerous complaints about extortion from owners of inter-state commercial buses impounded and ticketed for traffic infractions around Moshalasi by Alaka area of Surulere.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that Adegbemi had been collecting significant sums of money from innocent owners of vehicles impounded by LASTMA officials during enforcement operations. He would then promise to facilitate the release of these vehicles from the agency’s custody in exchange for payments.

In his confession, Adegbemi, who resides at Number 9, Anifowose Street, Somolu, admitted to collecting N140,000 from the owners of the victims, particularly impounded interstate commercial vehicles. He disclosed that he and his colleagues made an average of N250,000 every week from motorists arrested for committing traffic offenses.

As a result of this operation, the suspect’s group members who are still at large are being pursued by LASTMA. Adegbemi, however, expressed his willingness to discontinue the illegal operation if given the opportunity by the government.

The Director of the Legal Department at LASTMA, Barr. Akerele Kehinde, stated that the suspect would be arraigned in court as soon as possible to serve as a deterrent to others.

This incident highlights the importance of vigilance on the part of both the authorities and the public in combating such criminal activities that tarnish the image of the agency and exploit innocent citizens.

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