- The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has arrested an unruly driver, identified as Abuchi Okpara
- Okpara, who worked for one King Solomon Chariots Transportation as a driver, knocked down one of the agency's operative and fled to Ghana to escape arrest
- He was on Monday, August 13, charged before an Igando magistrate court where he was ordered to be remanded in Kirikiri Prison
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), on Tuesday, August 14 said that Johnson Ogbonnaya, the general manager of King Solomon Chariots Transportation, has handed over to law enforcement personnel a driver of his firm, Abuchi Okpara, who fled to Ghana after allegedly knocking down one of the agency's officials.
Okpara allegedly knocked down Obafemi Ogunmeru, a LASTMA officer, on Tuesday, August 7, 2017, at the Igando area of Alimosho in his attempt to evade arrest after violating traffic laws, Premium Times reports.
Okpara was reportedly driving a Nigeria-Ghna commercial vehicle with registration number KJA 633 XT when he dropped passengers at an undesignated spot at Igando.
His failure to obey Ogunmeru’s directive and desperate maneuvering to evade apprehension led to his Toyota Sienna vehicle knocking him down.
LASTMA revealed that the intervention of nearby police operatives was unable to prevent the driver from escaping from the scene of the incident after which he allegedly fled to Ghana.
The agency said:“The victim was rushed to lgando General Hospital for initial treatment, before being transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for comprehensive medical care,”
“However, the commitment of police officers of the Igando Police Station and subsequent support of Ogbonnaya eventually led to the driver’s arrest.
“Ogbonnaya personally travelled to Ghana to apprehend the suspect, brought him to Nigeria and handed him over to LASTMA and police to face the full wrath of the law.”
Meanwhile, the driver was charged before an Igando Magistrate Court where he was ordered to be remanded in Kirikiri Prison.
Olawale Musa, LASTMA’s general manager, speaking on the development, decried the attack on Ogunmeru in strong terms, adding that the trend was of deep concern to the state government.
Musa warned any aggrieved individual to take advantage of the various complaint channels set up by the agency to forward their grievances for immediate action instead of taking laws into their hands.
He said that LASTMA officials remained committed to discharging their duty and responsibility to the good people of the state, just as he urged vehicle owners to take a cue from the action of Ogbonnaya by cooperating with the agency and ensuring that violators of laws on their payroll were not allowed to without being punished.
Musa further said:“We like to commend Ogbonnaya for this rare display of patriotism and exemplary behaviour and urge others to take a cue from him because this can only encourage traffic officials to continue discharging their duty effectively.
“We also like to commend the Igando Station Police Officers. What we have noticed is that LASTMA officials are increasingly becoming hesitant in responding to accident victims due to the fear of being attacked and our message to the public is that attack on our personnel can be counterproductive to the victims of such accidents since they usually serve as first responders at most scenes of accidents.
“So, it is in our collective interest to stop the menace of offenders attacking traffic officials, while government will also not relent in intensifying efforts to continually address same.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that a 20-year-old driver and resident of Jakande estate, Lekki, Phase 1, Lagos, had been arrested for allegedly beating up an official of LASTMA.
The driver, who was identified as, Benjamin Archibong, was reported to have obstructed the LASTMA official, Olumide Omomoyesan, while enforcing traffic rules in Ajah, area in broad daylight, which caused a serious scene in the area.
Traffic in Lagos: Only Nigerians Will Understand | NAIJ.com TV