A conductor of a commercial bus identified simply as Ibrahim has been arraigned in a Lagos court for allegedly stabbing an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Akingbohungbe Olalekan, in the hand.
The driver of a Volkswagen wagon with number plate LAGOS XB 990 AAA, on Wednesday around 3.10pm was obstructing the free flow of traffic by picking and allowing passengers to alight from his bus at an unauthorized place in Ojota area of the state. He was apprehended by Olalekan and another LASTMA official, Alabi Emmanuel, who attempted to impound his vehicle. Olalekan ended up getting stabbed.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Ibrahim and the driver descended on the officials, beat them up and tore their uniforms.
It was learnt that Ibrahim later stripped himself naked and stood in front of the bus. Our correspondent gathered that a team of policemen and traffic enforcement agents later arrived at the scene.
But the driver reportedly fled while the 28-year-old conductor was arrested and arraigned at a special offences tribunal in Alausa on Wednesday.
At the tribunal, Ibrahim was charged with breach of public peace, obstructing state officers from carrying out their lawful duty, assault and traffic violation by picking passengers in places that were not bus stops.
When his plea was taken, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Magistrate Yetunde Phinero admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N50,000 and two sureties in the like sum. She adjourned the case till June 21, 2012. But the accused was remanded as he could not meet the bail condition.
Meanwhile, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Babatunde Edu, on Friday warned that the agency would prosecute traffic offenders, especially the violent ones.
Edu , who said prosecuting traffic offenders would serve as a deterrent to errant motorists, said the warning became imperative in view of the rising cases of attacks on LASTMA officials in recent times.
He said, “LASTMA officials have been trained to be civil in their approach and we do not tolerate act of indiscipline among our officials. But a situation where they are attacked while performing their official duties by errant drivers would no longer be condoned.
“The law is no respecter of anybody and it is necessary that motorists obey traffic rules and regulations to ensure sanity on our roads.
“Rather than take the laws into their hands, we implore motorists to report errant LASTMA officials and we assure them that we will carry out a thorough investigation and act accordingly. We do not condone any act of indiscipline among our officials and we do not cover them up if they erred.”