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Policemen, Soldiers Break Lagos Traffic Law – Investigation

Policemen, Soldiers Break Lagos Traffic Law – Investigation

There has been an upsurge in the number of men of the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Army who break the Lagos Traffic Law, PUNCH Metro investigation has revealed.

Policemen, Soldiers Break Lagos Traffic Law – Investigation

Our correspondent who monitored the situation last week observed that the uniformed personnel rode both registered and unregistered motorcycles on restricted roads.

Some of the roads monitored by our correspondent were Obafemi Awolowo Way, Oba Akinjobi Road, Ojuelegba, Ikorodu Road, Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Road, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, among others.

On Monday, it was observed that over a dozen policemen attached to the Area F Police Command, on Oba Akinjobi Road, Ikeja, simply rode in on motorcycles to resume work.

Some policemen were also seen riding into the Police Training School adjacent Area F Police Command.

PUNCH Metro observed that soldiers attached to the Nigerian Army Military Cantonment, Ikeja, also go in and out of the cantonment on motorcycles.

Also, our correspondent who observed the Onigbongbo end of Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Road for 15 minutes counted over 30 uniformed men riding motorcycles on the road.

A trader on Oba Akinjobi Road, who identified himself simply as Yemi, said the manner the uniformed men broke the law makes it look as if they are exempted from its provisions.

He said, “You hardly see civilians riding motorcycles on Oba Akinjobi Road because of the fear that the policemen in Area F Command would impound their motorcycles. 

“But you see, policemen, military and paramilitary men riding motorcycles on Oba Akinjobi Road.

“They break all the rules associated with the law by not wearing safety helmets, carrying more than one person and even riding unregistered motorcycles. This is flagrant disobedience of the law. I expect that the area commander should have called them to order.”

 A hawker on Mobolaji Bank Anthony-Way, who declined to give his name, said the army authorities could not feign ignorance that soldiers in the cantonment flaunt the traffic law.

“The soldiers are of the mind that they can break the traffic law and get away with it. Their superiors at the cantonment really need to caution them as they are laying bad examples,” he said.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said the provisions and enforcement of the law did not exclude policemen.

She, however, added that the state government had given waivers to policemen riding motorcycles while putting on uniforms because “they are the ones enforcing the traffic law.”

Braide said, “We (the police) held a meeting with the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, and other state traffic management officials sometimes in November.

“At the meeting, it was agreed that policemen riding motorcycles while putting on their uniform would be exempted because they are the ones enforcing the traffic law.

“But, policemen putting on uniform who carry passengers on mufti would be arrested together with the co-riders. Also, policemen on mufti riding alone will also be arrested.” 

The Public Relations Officer, 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Lt. Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, said soldiers in the state “are not excluded from the traffic law.”

He said, “We have discussed the issue of the state traffic law with our men in several fora and their commanders have been told to ensure that their men comply with the law.

“If soldiers break the law, the traffic enforcement officials are duty-bound to arrest them because soldiers are meant to obey laws too.”

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