By Olasunkanmi Akoni
In line with its zero tolerance for acts of indiscipline, the Lagos State Administrative Authority, LASTMA, said plans have been finalized to bring all its identified officers accused of bribery and extortion, as well as other infractions of the rules of engagement before a disciplinary committee called the Personnel Management Council.
Acting in accordance with current laws on public service standards, the agency stated that the move became necessary after the conclusion of a full investigation into the matter.
The LASTMA investigation was launched after a viral video on social media showing a couple of officers, collecting money from arrested traffic offenders based on the order of a senior officer, with the face of a woman, that was constantly displayed on the screen, counting the extorted ones. money.
One of the alleged traffic criminals who posted the video claimed that hundreds of thousands of naira were collected from about five criminals without receipts indicating that the money paid as a fine had been remitted to the government coffers.
Consequently, LASTMA launched an investigation into the indictment in order to identify all the alleged officers and bring them to justice.
The agency, therefore, through its verified Twitter identifier @followlastma, announced that the affected officers would face the disciplinary panel to obtain the appropriate sanctions.
In the LASTMA tweet, three officers, two women and one man paraded. The publication stated in part: “The investigation into the recently published extortion complaint against some LASTMA officials has been completed.
“A few revelations were uncovered behind the nuances of the video. Incidentally, during the preliminary investigation, the offender who made the charge rejected all pleas for him to appear to justify his claims and clarify some gray areas.
However, identified LASTMA officials will definitely face the Disciplinary Administrative Panel after it was resolved that the matter should be escalated to a higher authority in the Public Service.
“Updates on the disciplinary process will be provided as it progresses.
“We continue to encourage anyone with any complaint or report to contact LASTMA through published contacts and various social media channels.”
By the tone of the announcement, officers are more likely to be fired from duty if they are eventually found guilty as a deterrent to others. It will also serve as a stimulus for motorists who are being extorted to submit relevant information in order to remove all corrupt officers in their rank and file from the agency.
Remember that LASTMA General Manager Olajide Oduyoye had reiterated the agency’s willingness to sanction officials who made mistakes after a series of complaints from the automobile public.
Oduyoye recently said he arrested and reprimanded 25 of his officers for extorting motorists in the past three months.
He said the agency was able to arrest the officers who made mistakes because it had undercover agents acting as motorists.
Additionally, Comptroller Isaac Adetimiro, the LASTMA Assistant Director General, said the administration was stepping up efforts to ensure that officers portray the authority’s image well.
Adetimiro said the administration had intensified efforts to monitor and sanction officers who made mistakes due to the numerous complaints it was receiving from the public.
He recalled that earlier this year, two LASTMA officers were summoned and disciplined for the misdemeanor of extorting a motorist who committed a traffic crime.
Adetimiro said LASTMA had continued to receive complaints and some were redressed administratively or through the mobile traffic courts in favor of genuine whistleblowers who had evidence. “No culprit will escape the sanction …
“We will continue to look inward to eradicate these minor crimes by increasing our monitoring and surveillance of officers at their duty stations.
“This is to ensure that they are civil to the population, as well as to avoid corruption in the performance of their duties,” Adetimiro added.
However, he urged road users to obey traffic rules and regulations at all times to avoid relentless traffic jam on the roads.
Adetimiro said that poor driving, street trade, pedestrians crossing in unauthorized places, illegal parking and waiting were factors that aggravated the traffic situation in the state.
He said that most LASTMA officers were still diligent and upright in their duties.
Adetimiro advised road users to comply with the law or to be ready to face the wrath of the law in case of being violated by traffic regulations.
He said the public could also follow authority on social media such as: Twitter – @ followlastma, Facebook- @ Ekolastma and Instagram- @ Eko_lastma.