In the past weeks since the enforcement of the provisions of the Lagos State Traffic Law began, motorists and commercial motorcycle (Okada) riders have complained of the excesses of traffic officials, especially the Police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
Well, it seems the state government has listened to our calls to curb their reported excesses and has ordered junior LASTMA officers to stop arresting erring motor-cycle riders and motorists in the state forthwith.
According to Vanguard, the General Manager of LASTMA, Engr. Babatunde Edu, gave the order in his address at a public forum on the Law, organised by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, at the weekend.
According to Edu, the move was a spontaneous measure to respond to the complaints against aggressive law enforcement by junior officers. He urged the public to report any junior officer who victimises or harasses them, saying they have been stripped of the power to arrest.
Speaking on how to distinguish between a junior officer and a senior officer, he said “You can easily identify the junior officer with black epaulet on their shoulders; they cannot arrest, only the senior ones with red epaulets on their uniforms can arrest.
We have stopped the juniors from arresting motorists and okada riders except during a joint operation. That is the extent we have gone in checkmating aggressive enforcement of the law”
So, next time a LASTMA Officer attempts to arrest you, be sure to look at his shoulder.