The Lagos State Police Command has arrested an 18-year-old bus driver for setting the interior of his bus ablaze and assaulting a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority official.
The suspect, Okwudili Oputa, allegedly committed the offence during a scuttle with traffic officials who accosted him for traffic violation at the Ojota end of Ikorodu Road.
The General Manager, LASTMA, Mr. Babatunde Edu, said the officials accosted the driver for obstructing the free flow of traffic and inflicting hardship on other road users.
After being warned, Edu said the driver was adamant.
According to him, he said when the driver refused to move his vehicle from the road, LASTMA official attempted to tow it.
The bus conductor, Daniel, who is at large was said to have assaulted one of the LASTMA officials, Ojutayo Oluwarotimi, by removing the badge on his uniform.
Daniel was said to have also urged Oputa to use a tactic that would scare the officials.
It was in the process of trying to scare the LASTMA officials away that the suspect allegedly poured petrol inside the vehicle and into the eyes of another official, Mustapha Kayode, before setting the vehicle ablaze.
Edu said, “ Oputa of 13, Karimu Giwa Street Abule Oshun , tried to evade arrest by setting his bus with registration number MUS 372XA ablaze at Total filling station, Ojota, opposite the Gani Fawehimi Freedom Park.
“The fire was quickly extinguished by LASTMA officials, Nigerian Civil Defence Corps and filling station attendants.”
“The driver latter confessed at the LASTMA office, Oshodi , that it was his conductor who brought out a bottle of petrol and poured it in the vehicle which in the process entered the eyes of Mustapha Kayode.”
Edu while assessing the extent of the injury on the affected officer, lamented that officers of the agency were often being attacked resulting in the death of some of them.
He appealed to motorists to always see LASTMA officials as friends and not hesitate to lodge a complaint with the authorities whenever they were aggrieved about the operations and conduct of the officials.
A policeman at the Alausa Division where the suspect is being detained, confirmed the arrest.
He added that investigations were ongoing.