Lagos vows to prosecute killers of traffic officer

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos State Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofi Elegushi (middle) LASTMA CEO, Chris Olakpe (right) GM LASTMA, Bashir Braimah (left) during the press briefing.

Lagos State Government has condemned in strong terms, the killing of an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) by furious mob on Thursday, as it vowed to prosecute the killers.

The State’s Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofi Elegushi, who stated this at a press briefing in Ikeja, described the killing of the officer- Mr Surajudeen Bakare as very unfortunate.

He said that the police must fish-out the perpetrators to serve as deterrent to others.

Mr. Elegushi explained that eyewitness account revealed that the LASTMA vehicle did not kill anyone.

According to him, it is the driver of the tanker that killed its ‘motor boy’ who was asleep under the vehicle.

“It is authoritative that the mob action is by Tanker Drivers, commercial motorcyclists and other persons who live around them, all of them are persons who are violating the terms of the law, Officer Bakare remains a victim of a forceful take-over of roads by a group of people who desire to become a law unto themselves; we have over the long years asked Tank Farms to provide alternatives, we have engaged with the operators and tanker drivers yet they remain stubborn, to avoid situations such as this, we have given options, we, however, remain undaunted in our resolve,” Elegushi said.

Statutory agency
The Acting Commissioner reiterated that LASTMA remained a statutory agency; hence, its officers would continue to represent government’s interest to deliver services to the people.

 “It is restating that LASTMA is an agency established by law, that law implies that they (its officers) act on behalf of Government, they must be accorded the respect they deserve, in case of an infraction by any of them, there are due processes and complaint mechanism that redresses those infractions, residents should make use of the LASTMA Complaints Response Unit number 08129928646, in reporting any erring official instead of resorting to self-help,” he stated.

Mr Eelegushi then called on the Nigerian Police to unravel the mystery surrounding the death, so as to apprehend the culprits.

He said that, “the fact was that a gallant officer had been brought down in a situation where clearly LASTMA was not culpable.”

“Therefore we call on the Nigerian Police to do a thorough investigation, the perpetrators must be brought to book and justice will be served,” Elegushi stated.