By Okunade Adekunle
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday approved the dismissal of a Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) officer, Mr. Onipede Olusegun, from Lagos State Civil Service over alleged extortion.
Mr. Onipede, however, submitted a petition entitled “Dismissal from civil service” seeking reversal on the judgement of the LASTMA Authority.
In the petition, he stated he was on a patrol around Ojota axis when vehicles were parked indiscriminately at the bus-stop, which resulted in traffic build-up and he instructed the driver of the vehicle in the front to move in order to ease traffic but the driver refused vehemently.
Mr. Onipede further stated that he snapped the vehicle with his phone as a result of his refusal and the conductor held his hand and pleaded with him to delete the pictures.
He said it was in the process of holding his hand while pleading that a passersby took the photograph and shared same on the social media, which the LASTMA Authority came across and accused him of extortion from a bus conductor.
He also stated that all attempts to explain what transpired between him and the bus conductor to LASTMA Head Office was rebuffed.
He said he couldn’t have done anything that would jeopardize the operational guidelines of the Agency to enrich his pockets.
Responding to the petition, Chairman, Committee on Establishment, Training, Pension and Public Service, Hon. Dayo Famakinwa, invited necessary stakeholders to investigate the matter.
The committee then reached a conclusion to adopt the position of the Civil Service Commission to the effect that Mr. Olusegun Onipede be dismissed from the service of LASTMA over alleged extortion.
While contributing to the debate, Hon. Omotayo Oduntan said the fear of LASTMA was the beginning of traffic wisdom in Lagos State but lamented that there are many bad eggs in the agency who have become allies of Danfo drivers, extorting money from them.
Oduntan said: “I could recall that one LASTMA officer tried to extort money from a Danfo driver but pleaded for forgiveness after I accosted him. I think it is nemesis that has caught up with the man in question and it will serve as a deterrent to other LASTMA officials who indulge in such disgusting behavior”.
The House later adopted the recommendation as the resolution of the House.
Meanwhile, the House has announced online streaming of its plenary and other activities.
Majority Leader of the House , Hon. S.O. B. Agunbiade, in his final motion at Tuesday plenary informed his colleagues for the information of the general public that live streaming of the house plenary has begun.
According to him, members of the public can now access the plenary of the house via www.lagoshouse ofassembly.gov.nglivestreaming. This makes the House the first state assembly to approve live streaming of its sitting in the country.