Lagos State government said it would prosecute a man, Emmanuel Ben, for allegedly attacking and breaking the head of an official of the State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) at Lekki area of the metropolis.
The victim, Ismail Lukman, was said on duty at Jakande Junction when he was attacked about 2.20pm on Sunday over a minor issue. The LASTMA General Manager (GM), Mr. Olajide Oduyoye, said the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, said the suspect should be made to face the full wrath of the law for the assault to serve as a deterrent to others with similar motives.
Lukman said he was controlling traffic manually, owing to the destruction of the traffic signal light during the #EndSARS protest when Ben approached him and asked that traffic be stopped for him to cross even with the presence of pedestrian bridge nearby.
The Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Filade Olumide, said in a statement on Sunday that Ben then proceeded to step into the carriageway in front of a moving traffic, causing disruption to traffic flow. Lukman then asked him to leave the road and stop disturbing his work. A witness said Ben thereafter threatened that LASTMA officials would be chased off the road like the police.
The witness added that Ben suddenly attacked Lukman by hitting him on his head with a ‘metal’ weapon, causing serious laceration, resulting in flow of blood. Ben was then joined in the officer’s assault by two other passers-by who are currently at large.
However, Ben was arrested with the help of soldiers who were on patrol and policemen in the area. He was later taken to Ilasan Police Station where he was detained. Olumide recalled that the LASTMA GM was also assaulted and injured at that same Jakande area in June.
The GM, Oduyoye, vowed that LASTMA would not shy away or be cowed into submission from carrying out its lawful duties, no matter the intimidation. He also promised that anyone caught assaulting LASTMA officers henceforth would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“For there to be free flow of traffic in the state metropolis as set out in the ‘THEMES’ agenda of Mr. Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, with transportation and traffic management representing the first T, we must all have a change of mindset to obey the traffic law as amended in 2018 by the state House of Assembly and that anybody who refuses to obey those traffic laws should be ready to face the consequences as stated in the Law,” Ouyoye said.
He advised that road users should come to terms with the fact that LASTMA was constituted by the Law which had conferred some responsibilities on the agency and also on the road users expected to carry out their own responsibilities for there to be harmony and peace on Lagos roads.