By Lukman Olabiyi
The Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Court sitting at Bolade, Oshodi has sentenced a man arrested for extorting motorists under a false pretense of being a staff of the State’s traffic management authority (LASTMA), Omotutu Bamidele, to two -years jail term.
The court held that Bamidele’s actions were in contrary to the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, which guides LASTMA officers’ operations in the state.
Delivering the judgmenton Tuesday, Magistrate Kehinde Ogundare, declined to issue any option of fine after Bamidele pleaded ‘guilty’ to the 2- count charge levied against him before the court.
The two-count charges include impersonating a public officer by representing as staff of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority contraries to Section 78 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and obtaining by fraudulent trick Section 323 of the Criminal Law, Lagos State.
Ogundare emphasized that the convict should serve the jail term without any option fine due to the gravity of the offenses committed.
In his reaction to the judgement, General Manager, LASTMA, Bolaji Oreagba, described the court outcome as a welcome development.
Oreagbe said that the judgment would serve as a deterrent to others who are still extorting money from innocent members of the public under false pretenses.
In a statement released by the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department, Adebayo Taofiq, the LASTMA boss assured Lagosians that efforts have been intensified to apprehend imposters across the state.
According to him, Our Monitoring and Surveillance Unit which has now been fully restructured would continue to hunt for other bad elements disturbing the peace of the society.
However, he urged motorists particularly commercial bus operators to adhere strictly to the dictates of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 and avoid attacking Officers of the Agency.