Metro & Crime

Traffic Law: Owners weep as Lagos auctions 88 vehicles

Lagos State government yesterday auctioned 88 vehicles impounded for driving against traffic. Although many of the vehicle owners had wished to successfully bid for their vehicles, having failed to persuade the officials and the Mobile Court to free them or fine them for flouting the traffic law, they were surprised that over 300 car dealers and others bidded for their vehicles for the prices they never prepared to part with. Hence, many of them wept uncontrollably while watching their vehicles being driven away by the buyers. At the Car Park Yard of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Task force), Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, tears cascaded down the cheeks of some vehicle owners who failed to bid for their vehicles. They had stormed the venue with cash but they were defeated by other bidders who offered a higher amount of money for the vehicles. New Telegraph learnt that the bidding process, which was keenly contested and supervised by the task force Chairman, Shola Jejeloye, and Coordinator of Mobile Court, Arinola Ogbara-Banjoko, initially became rowdy with over 300 bidders comprising car dealers and other interested Lagosians. While some owners lost their vehicles to the bidders, others were lucky to buy their vehicles back, though at exorbitant prices. During the bidding, some of the commercial vehicles were sold as low as about N450,000 and a Toyota car sold as high as N1.9 million at the venue after the last bidder announced his price. Among the lucky ones was a woman, who identified herself as Alhaja Olaoluwa. She was able to buy back her Nissan Quest at N470,000 at the venue. Others, who couldn’t buy back their vehicles expressed disappointment in the process, lamenting foul play by the officials of the task force and the Mobile Court, saying that the vehicles were dubiously sold to their cronies. But Jejeloye claimed that the process was transparent. He added that the strategy adopted by the government was to ensure that everyone got equal rights during the bidding exercise. He said: “We are appealing to residents of Lagos to adhere strictly to the law. But if they decide that they are not ready to do that, we will not hesitate to go out and impound any vehicle found contravening the law across the state.” Explaining the legality of the auction, Ogbara-Banjoko said the vehicles put out for auctioning had been certified by the court for sales after it ruled that they had been forfeited to Lagos State government after violating the Traffic Law 2018. She said that those not listed were still under litigation but they would be listed for auctioning when the court ruled on them. The vehicles were impounded for driving against traffic (one-way) in different parts of the state The owners/drivers were arraigned and the court ruled that their vehicles be forfeited in line with Part (3), Item (27) of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018.

 

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