Assistant Corps Marshal Kayode Olagunju, the new Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Zone 4, Jos, has warned his officers against extortion of motorists on the highways.
Olagunju, in a statement by Deputy Route Commander Terry Hoomlong, the Acting Zonal Public Education Officer, also vowed to prosecute erring motorists to improve safety on the roads in the zone.
He spoke while addressing members of staff on his assumption of duty in FRSC Zone 4, Jos, which comprise Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States.
Olagunju told the officers that he has “a monitoring mechanism in place to fish out the corrupt ones and get them punished in line with the extant rules”.
He, however, advised them to be dedicated to their duties, be disciplined, shun rumour mongering and be civil to the members of the public while discharging their duties.
Olagunju said that hard working staff and Commands in the zone would be rewarded, while those that violated the Operational Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures would be sanctioned accordingly.
He also enjoined all the Commanding Officers in the Zone to be creative in evolving strategies and initiatives to reduce the rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities in the zone.
Olagunju admonished them to abide by the COVID-19 Protocols such as regular washing of hands with running water and soap and the use of sanitisers, face masks and social distancing.
He admonished motorists to be careful and maintain their vehicles, and imbibe good driving culture at all times, especially now that it was raining heavily in the area.
The new zonal commanding officer also urged them to ensure that their tyres and wipers were in good condition, and avoid overloading their vehicles.
He enjoined them to always fasten their seat belts, while passengers were advised to always caution their drivers whenever they attempt to break traffic rules and regulations.
The FRSC chief said that the corps had organised Mobile Courts between June 26 and July 21, which had convicted 359 traffic offenders in Plateau and Nasarawa States.
Olagunju said a total of 408 traffic offenders were arrested by the FRSC Operatives and brought before eight Magistrate Courts in the two states.
According to him, 50 of the 408 arraigned were discharged and acquitted.
He said in the statement that the convicts were given between two to six months jail terms, pointing out that they were, however, given the options of fines ranging between N2,000 to N10,000.
He said: “In RS4.1 Plateau, a total of 117 traffic offenders were convicted with 121 offences by Godswill Longs, the Presiding Magistrate.
“In RS4.3 Nasarawa, a total of 242 traffic offenders were convicted by Magistrates Abimbola Buzi, Joy Farouk, Victoria Isiaku, Abundaga Habila and Gwahimba Vincent.
“The most prevalent offences were overloading, Speed Limit Violation, Tyre Violation, Driving and Vehicle Licence Violations. Others are Seat Belt, Windscreen and Motorcycle Helmet Violations.”