Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LASTMA Impounds Obasanjo's Vehicle

A 'cold war' appears to brewing between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, following the confiscation of a utility vehicle belonging to Obasanjo Farms.

This is coming as the protest against the Lagos State Road Traffic Law by commercial motorcyclists (popularly called Okada) Tuesday spread to other parts of the metropolis, leaving at least one bus belonging to LAGBUS Asset Management Limited damaged.

Also, pandemonium erupted Tuesday at the Alakuko area of the state, following the alleged killing of a commercial motorcyclist, and injuring another by one of the policemen allegedly attached to Alakuko Police Station, Area G, Ogba Command.

However, it was gathered that the Obasanjo Farms vehicle was impounded by officials of the state Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) over the weekend, for contravening the traffic law.

Though Obasanjo was alleged to have made efforts to get the vehicle released, which proved abortive, the action was, however, said to have led to the forceful seizure of 10 LAG buses, which were alleged to have been taken into the premises of Obasanjo Farms between last week Friday and Sunday.

However, effort to get the Chief Executive of LASTMA, Mr. Young Arabamen, to comment on the development proved abortive as his secretary said he was in a meeting.

Equally, the protest was said to have started very early Tuesday at Kola Bus Stop along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, following alleged arrests and extortion of commercial motorcyclists by law enforcement agencies.

Despite the protest, security operatives attached to the state Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit and Rapid Response (RRS) were said to have stepped up the enforcement of the traffic law, an outcome of which led to impounding of about 3,000 commercial motorcycles in different parts of the state.

It was also gathered that one of the commercial motorcyclists was allegedly killed Tuesday at Pen Cinema, Agege when he was trying to escape from law enforcement officers deployed in the area.

But, an eyewitness alleged that the commercial motorcyclist was killed while he was trying, "to escape and ensure that his motorcycle was not impounded the moment he sighted the law enforcement officers heading in his direction."

........By Gboyega Akinsanmi, Chiemelie Ezeobi and Taye Oye/This Day, October 24, 2012
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