The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit says it has arrested three suspects for impersonating local government traffic officers and extorting money from motorists in the Oshodi area of Lagos.
The suspects: Samuel Oyegbule, 52; Olayiwola Thomas, 53 and Kola Taiwo, 47 allegedly claimed they were working with Oshodi-Isolo Local Government.
They were arrested on Wednesday on the orders of the chairman, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, CSP Shola Jejeloye, after some victims lodged complaints about their activities.
According to the Head, Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce), Femi Moliki, the suspects on Tuesday extorted N25,000 from one of their victims for obstruction. Another victim equally alleged he paid the same amount the previous day.
A victim who did not want to be named told the task force men: “They walked up to my vehicle while waiting for the traffic light in Oyetayo Street. They knocked on my side glass and I wound down to listen to them.
“They said I had committed a traffic offence and I was forced to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Secretariat, Oshodi, where I was made to cough up N25,000 as fine.”
The second victim, a Bolt driver, said, “I was arrested for dropping (off) my client in front of his house in the inner street of Oshodi. It wasn’t a major road or expressway or where there are bus stops. They refused to listen to my explanation. They fined me N25,000.”
The victims alleged that the suspects select vehicles they know can pay their charges before arresting them on trumped up charges and forcing them to the local government headquarters to make payment.
CSP Jejeloye said the taskforce would continue to arrest miscreants posing as council officials to extort money from road users.
“I have received a lot of complaints and we have taken time to analyse them. We have made our findings too. The Lagos State government will not tolerate such excesses,” he added.