The Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) has blamed Oladejo Oluwaseyi, the driver of a car seized while parked for repairs, for reporting the incident to the press.
FIJ had reported how LASTMA officers demanded N50,000 bribe from the man after confiscating his vehicle along the Anthony pedestrian bridge.
“You should have not involved the press; they worsened the matter,” Oladejo quoted LASTMA PRO to have said to him when he visited his office on December 3.
Oladejo’s car was seized on November 2, when he and his brother were attending to a minor fault on the car on a service lane along Anthony pedestrian bridge. He would later be accused of picking a passenger on the lane.
He told the LASTMA officer that the boy was his brother, but he would not listen. He drove them to their headquarters in Oshodi and ticketed Oladejo N50,000.
Before contacting FIJ, Oladejo, a computer engineer, had visited the office a couple times with the hope of getting his car released. But his efforts were fruitless. “I could have paid the money if found guilty, but I was not,” he said.
He spent almost the whole December 1 at the agency’s office, hoping to meet with Bolaji Oreagba, LASTMA’s general manager, who had asked to hear his grievances. The latter was later said to be absent.
The following day, his phone was seized by an officer at LASTMA office, when he was filming a man stripping himself over his impounded car.
Subsequently, on December 3, he met with the PRO who was angry he reported the matter to FIJ.
“He collected the ticket and took it to the GM’s office. When he returned, it was written on the back of the ticket that the money was reduced to N20,000,” he told FIJ.
He also said, “The PRO instructed me to go and get my phone at a particular unit, but one of the officers named Shelle A. walked me out embarrassingly and even instructed the security to walk me out of the premises.”
Insisting he had not committed any crime, Oladejo said he has no money to pay.
“I have lost more than enough in the last eleven days,” he told FIJ. “My car was illegally impounded on November 23, and my phone was seized on December 2.”
Oladejo told FIJ the seized phone housed his business line. “I have to get another phone now,” he lamented. “Imagine how much I have lost in this period.”
Olumide Filade, the agency’s PRO did not respond to calls and messages sent to him for comment about the incident.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.