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Are Nigerian Policemen taking the Enforcement of Lagos State Traffic Law too Far? Reports of Harassment & Killing of Commercial Transporters on the Rise



In the past few weeks, we have been greeted with disturbing news of unnecessary harassment, beating, shooting and killing of commercial bus drivers and motorcycle (Okada) riders by Policemen in Lagos state. This is coming in the wake of the enforcement of the new Lagos State Traffic Law and the ban of Okada from most major roads in the state.

Sometime last week, it was reported that policemen stripped an Okada rider naked in Akoka for plying a road he wasn’t supposed to under the new ban. Pictures of the naked man went viral online. As if that wasn’t enough, it was reported that another Okada rider was on Monday killed at Ilupeju Byepass. He was shot in the chest by a Policeman and died hours later.

Just yesterday, a bus conductor was also shot dead at Tipper Garage in Ketu, Lagos by a Policeman. Reports say he was shot for refusing to offer a policeman bribe after he allegedly broke a traffic law. The policeman identified as Corporal Oluwatiyesi Gboyega attached to Mopol 50, FCT Abuja, was said to have opened fire on him. The bullet hit him on the head, his brains spattered everywhere and he died immediately on the spot.

We also read similar news recently but with a different twist. This time, an Okada rider stripped himself naked in an attempt to avoid being arrested by a team of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Agency  Taskforce  for violating a road trafftic law.

Lagosians are still having a difficult time adjusting to the provisions of the traffic law and the ban on Okada. It is therefore disheartening that the people who are supposed to be the custodians of law and order in the society and make the adjustment convenient for everyone are using extreme and unnecessary measures to enforce it. We think its about time the Commissioner of Police and Lagos State Government calls these men to order to stop this indiscriminate shooting and harrasment of road users.

Have you had any unpleasant experience with Policemen or traffic officials since the enforcement of the Lagos State Traffic Law began that you would love to share?

Photo Credit: Pilot Nigeria

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. phantom

    November 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I am greatly dissapointed in Governor Fashola over this issue. This is clearly a case of a badly thought out policy. It is bad enough that he placed the ban on okadas without putting alternatives in place, the enforcement was left in the care of policemen who need little or no excuse to use their guns. the result is what we have: use of maximum force for minimum resistance.

    Just yesterday, i saw a couple of fierce looking police men on Ahmadu Bello way lying in wait for okada riders. One actually ran after a man on a bike waiving his gun wildly in the air until the man stopped and brought out some sort of military ID. now i ask myself, do policemen need to carry guns to enforce a ban on okada?? the way they go about it gives one the impression that their sole duty is to annihiliate okada riders.

    Governor Fashola may have had good intentions, but the execution and enforcement is totally wrong. As a custodian of the constitution which affords everyone a right to life, he has erred badly. From one lawyer to another, my disappointment in him cannot be quantified.

  2. GEE

    November 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Policeman kills okada rider with single baton blow PUNCH PAPER
    An unidentified policeman from Pen Cinema Police Division, Agege, Lagos State, has allegedly killed an okada rider identified simply as Omo Saki, after the policeman hit him with a baton on the head on Oba Ogunnusi Road in the Ogba area.

    According to an eyewitness, who identified himself as Baba Lati, the policeman hit the motorcyclist with the baton after he refused to stop when he was flagged.

    He said, “It happened this morning (on Tuesday). An okada rider was stopped by a policeman but the man refused to stop. So, the policeman hit him with a baton he was holding. The man fell and died immediately.

    “I don’t know why the okada man refused to stop but they have been warned not to pass through Agege, which is among the roads commercial motorcyclists were banned from plying.”

    Another eyewitness, who wished to be identified as Iya Laje, accused the policemen of manhandling any errant motorcyclist accosted in the area.

  3. FUNMI

    November 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Yesterday evening, a junior colleague of mine was going home with his private Motor bike when he was been harassed by Policemen around Akute, while trying to escape from been arrested, A policeman hit him very hard on his head with a stick and he had a very dip cut on his head.. he was immediately rushed to the hospital and got his head stitched. he is currently on admission in the Hospital cause he is in a critical condition having lost a lot of blood.
    I think things are getting out of hand in Lagos State and our Force men are taking laws into their hands. even when they arrest bike riders, its either they collect settlement or sell the bike off at ridiculous prices to their colleague or convert to personal use.
    I believe alternative means of living should be provided because the action of the State Government would only increase the rate of unemployment.
    Provide alternate means of Transportation and Employment. we would only end up having more criminals because an idle mind is the devils workshop.

  4. kittygirl

    November 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    i witnessed a goose chase between policemen in their van with an okada rider at Eric moore. I saw them chasing the okada rider and in the process of escaping he fell badly with his bike in a ditch dug by a construction company and in spite of that he ran out of the ditch and left his bike.The policemen stopped saw the damage and just left.The okada guy has a sprained leg after the whole ordeal.

  5. Rukky Jabin Olori

    November 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Is really unbearable for us living here in Lagos. Businesses are going down! How can Lagosians cope without usage of bike (OKADA)? Is tough! Cause, with the aid of OKADA, traffic jam can be dodge. So, is so unbearable.

  6. Smexymiable

    November 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Nigerian police are the worst in this world! Only God knows where they are born and bred! They are crooked and have no shame at all.. and all their evil deeds will live with them and after them; with their great grand children…. How can thye be abusing such power they’ve been given like this? It’s not right at all, Policemen have turned armed robbers and we don’t know who is who anymore…. and before you know it they will be syaing “Police is your friend” RUBBISH!

  7. Worried Lagosian.

    November 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    As much as i agree the okada riders can be a nuisance, i still think the are very essential in Lagos State because of the usually mad traffic jam. I stopped driving to work because of the amount of stress involved in each trip. So Okada is (was) my major means of transport. So now that they are banned….it inflicts negatively on the masses (we)

  8. cool

    November 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    this country sha..all i can say is, it is well! thats all i can say..

  9. Tee

    November 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    It is a said story and situation in Lagos.Gov Fashola did not put this into consideration and he is not ready to listen to the masses at all. Is it because he does not seat in traffic when passing or his family members are not included. I find it very hard every day to trekk from Ikoyi to Idejo because there are no more bikes in Lagos, getting to Oshodi is another case.After spending hours in traffic on 3rd mainland bridge and another one along oshodi. Gov Fashola should pls be considerate bcos Lagosians are suffering.

  10. Bamidele

    November 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Fashola should know one thing, no sinners will go unponish, and 4 u fashola u and ur generation will pay 4 your action, because u are in power now, u think u can do anything u like in the name of law?.repent before it too late.

  11. Sally

    January 11, 2013 at 7:35 am

    The ban of okada on the highways has made things only worse.I think other modes of transportation should be developed in lagos like the rail and water to ease pressure on roads.People cant get to their destinations on time because of the heavy traffic on lagos roads and now the bikes have been banned,it has made things seriously bad.

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