Videoed LASTMA Official Is On The Run But We Will Get Him – Fashola

The official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) caught on video camera negotiating a bribe from a motorist is on the run.

Governor Babatunde Fashola made this known at the re-launch and induction of the Special Traffic Mayor Corps in Ikeja where he gave an assurance that the corrupt official, who has been declared wanted, would soon be apprehended and made to face the law.

“That fellow in LASTMA, I am told is on the run, we have declared him wanted and we will get him. Be sure about that, we will get him, and as soon as we do, we will give him all his rights and he will have his day in court.”

Admonishing the elite group of LASTMA officers, Governor Fashola reiterated that the primary purpose for the establishment of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority was to keep Lagos traffic moving. He insisted that the process of arresting any erring motorist should never be made a priority ahead of the primary assignment.

He reminded the officers that if traffic was kept moving, the quality of life of the average citizen would improve as less hours would be spent in traffic and more money saved by the motorists and commuters on the roads.

Mr Fashola also commended the medium through which the LASTMA official was indicted, saying “I want to salute the citizen that got that video for us on his camera, we must name, we must shame and we must use that kind of medium to fish out all the bad eggs in our society, give them a face that the public can see, and bring them to justice.”

Channels Television showed a video footage of the LASTMA official extorting money from a motorist for beating a red light and the video has continued to generate reactions from many Nigerians.

The video was sent to the station by the victim of the extortion via Channels Television’s iWitness Mobile Application which was developed to encourage Citizen Journalism among the public.

 

VIDEO: LASTMA Official Caught On Tape Collecting Bribe

An official of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) has been caught red-handed demanding bribe from a motorist who is suspected to have broken the Lagos traffic law deliberately to expose corrupt law enforcement agents in the state.

The motorist, driving on Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi, Lagos state, was stopped at the Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant junction, recorded an amateur video and sent it to the iWitness platform of Channels Television.

The yet-to-be identified LASTMA official accused the motorist of beating the traffic light.

As penalty, the motorist was charged the sum of N8,000 and was escorted to the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to withdraw the cash to settle the officer.

It will be recalled that a police officer, Chris Omeleze, caught on film soliciting for inducement by an unknown motorist was dismissed by the Nigerian Police Force.

Don’t Blame Dismissed Policeman, Blame Our Leaders- Femi Kuti

Nigerian afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti has blamed the leadership of Nigeria for the ills bedeviling the country.

Speaking in reaction to the video of a police officer that was taped while demanding for a bribe, the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, said “as much as I am very against it, if the leaders of this country look at the problems of this country objectively, the police force will be the kind of police force we desire and we deserve”.

He blamed the leaders, especially after the return to democratic rule in 1999 of treating the problems of the country with laxity.

He looked at other parts of the economy, Kuti said “we look at education, how many police officers can afford? I tell you it’s only the AIG, the top police officers can send his kids to the best schools inis country.

He said it is impossible to eradicate corruption to in the country without paying the police officers well.

Kuti asked about other police officers engaged in soliciting and collecting of bribes saying ‘’what about the rest that do it on a daily basis” adding that “what about the mechanics that keep stealing the parts of your car, what about your house help” he quipped.

He lamented the fact that “to buy drugs in general hospital today, you have to bribe the doctor, the nurse… to get your way, to get treated, to get a bed in general hospital”.

He said the dismissed police officer (Chris Omeleze) will be used as a “scape goat” noting that “he is not the problem” but an “unfortunate part of the problem”.

Kuti further noted that “probably if the police are paid very well, they are not enlightened to know that they are been paid very well, because the corruption is now embedded in our system, it is now in our blood”

Global Phenomenon

Kuti, who just returned from a tour of Europe, also bemoaned the high level of unemployment in the country but was quick to admit that it is fast becoming a global phenomenon.

He said “when you go to Spain there are no jobs, when you go to England people have no jobs, when you to France people…… You see problem was an African problem, poverty was an African problem, unfortunately is a global problem now”.

Analyst Commends Social Media For Exposing Police Extortion

A Public Affairs Analyst, Chima Nnaji, has commended the social media and its users for enabling the exposure of corrupt practices in the society.

“Thank God for social media,” he said, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Thursday.

The dismissal of a sergeant, Chris Omeleze, who was caught on film trying to extort money from a motorist in Lagos, has caused a stir and has raised several questions about the credibility of the Nigeria Police.

Mr Nnaji, while commenting on the issue said that the video which went viral online is the reason the Nigeria Police could not sweep it under the carpet and as a result “the best thing was to dispense with this guy.”

A recent development in the story is the revelation that Osugwor Festus and not Chris Omeleze is his real name.

A source, who chose to remain annonymous, said that the “real name of the dismissed policeman is not Chris Omeleze. His real name is Osugwor Festus from Umuseti in Ndokwa West LGA of Delta state. He was classmates with Chris Omeleze… They attended Ndemili Grammar school and finished in 1987.”

Reacting to this, Mr Nnaji raised several questions including why the police officer chose the name of that particular classmate, how long has he been using it and for what purpose?”

What name did he use in enlisting in the Police force, he asked.

The Public Relations Officer of the Police Force, Mr Frank Mba confirmed that the sergeant has been dismissed from the force.

Mr Nnaji argued that the PPRO was hasty in concluding that there was no senior officer involved in the illegal act.

“Many Nigerians know that bribery is not just something at the level of sergeants and corporals. We have DPO’s, higher ranking officers” who have engaged in corrupt practices.

He however said that not every police officer is corrupt.

“The first thing would have been to establish whether this guy was acting on somebody’s instruction or supervision. Was he in a team?” he asked.

Some police officers create illegal checkpoints because they have arms.

He urged Nigerians to use technology at their disposal to record such incidences, in order to correct social ills.

Dismissed Sergeant Impersonated Classmate For 21 Years

It has been discovered that the sergeant who was dismissed from the Nigeria Police for extorting money from a citizen has been impersonating his classmate for over 21 years.

He was caught on film soliciting for inducement by an unknown motorist.

Information gathered by Channels Television revealed that Osugwor Festus and not Chris Omeleze is his real name.

A source, who chose to remain annonymous, said that the “real name of the dismissed policeman is not Chris Omeleze. His real name is Osugwor Festus from Umuseti in Nduka West LGA of Delta state. He was classmates with Chris Omeleze… They attended Ndemili Grammar school and finsihed in 1987.”

Deputy Force Public Relations Officer Mr Frank Mba has confirmed the dismissal of the officer, identified him as sergeant Christopher Omeleze.

The Nigeria Police is yet to comment on this development.