The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority on Thursday confirmed the arrest of a fake traffic officer, David Oluchukwu, in the Lekki area of the state.
The agency’s Director, Public Affairs Department, Taofiq Adebayo, in a statement, said the General Manager, LASTMA, Bolaji Oreagba, confirmed that the suspect was nabbed by a patrol team monitoring and controlling traffic around the Lekki axis.
Adebayo said, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the agency revealed that the arrested suspect belonged to a criminal gang and they have been extorting huge sums of money from innocent motorists apprehended for various traffic offences ranging from seat-belt, obstructions, illegal over-taking and one-way in different locations across the state.
“The suspect was apprehended after our patrol team sighted him fully kitted in a LASTMA uniform on a black jean collecting money from different commercial bus drivers who were illegally dropping and picking passengers under the Lekki Bridge.
“It is disheartening for some unscrupulous elements impersonating as LASTMA officials and extorting money from innocent motorists thereby denting the good image of the agency before the public.”
Adebayo said Oreagba urged motorists to be wary of fake officers demanding money from them, stating that the agency operated a cashless policy as any violators apprehended were charged with a ‘referral notice’.
The suspect, David Oluchukwu, 27, reportedly confessed to the crime.
Oluchukwu, an indigene of Ukpu, Anambra State, allegedly said he made an average of N40,000 daily from the illegal traffic business.
“Any motorist I caught driving against traffic (one-way) paid a minimum of N50,000, while other traffic violators were charged with different fines,” he said in the statement.