…It’s not true  – LASTMA spokesperson


By Damiete Braide


•Mrs. Alabi                           •Mrs. Alabi bleeding stain


A mother of four, Mrs. Ifeoluwa Grace Alabi, has cried for justice over the loss of her two-month-old pregnancy during an altercation with officials of the Lagos State government. She claimed she also sustained injuries and the screen of her phone was broken by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Iponri Division.

•Mrs. Alabi’s brutalised led


But in a swift reaction, Adebayo Taofiq, director, public affairs and enlightenment department, LASTMA, said Mrs Alabi lied. His narration contrasted with Alabi’s.

According to the woman, on the fateful day, she boarded a bus going to Orile from Apongbo, Lagos Island, and when they got to Costain, “LASTMA officials arrested our bus, saying that the passenger sitting in front with the driver did not put on the seat belt. They forcefully tried to collect the bus from the driver and were struggling for the steering wheel with the driver.


•Certificate of incomplete abortion

“At that point, my phone rang and it was my husband that called. All the passengers in the bus told the LASTMA official not to struggle for the steering of the bus with the driver and he should allow the driver to park the bus. My husband overheard the noise in the background and he asked me what was happening and I told him and he ended the call.

“The bus later stopped at Costain Roundabout and some of the passengers came down but, unfortunately, myself and one other passenger had not come down from the bus when the LASTMA officials forcefully collected the bus from the driver and drove the bus to their office at Iponri.

“There were actually two LASTMA officers, one on the driver’s side while the other official sat on the passenger’s seat behind the driver. They later said the person that sat beside the driver didn’t use the seat belt. The passengers told them to allow the driver to give us some of our money so that we could board another bus going to Orile.

“Another official of LASTMA ran towards the bus and told his colleague at the steering wheel to drive the bus to their office in Iponri. They were impatient and didn’t wait to allow myself and the other passenger to get down from the bus. We began to shout, telling them that they should allow us to come down from the bus so that we could collect our money from the conductor to board another bus. They didn’t listen to us and drove the bus to Iponri. 

“The driver told us that he wasn’t with any money and the money was with the conductor. I complained to the LASTMA officials that they did not wait to allow us to get off the bus and what was the essence of taking us to their office, after all, we were neither the driver nor the conductor, all we needed was our money so we could enter another bus to Orile.

“All he kept saying was that the driver was still here with us and that he would give us our money. As we were talking, my phone rang and I was about to answer the call when the LASTMA official snatched my phone and smashed it against the body of the bus and broke the screen, saying that I wanted to do a video of him.

“The driver of the bus picked up the phone and gave it to me. I told the LASTMA official that he had broken the screen of my phone and he would repair it.

“They drove us to their garage under Iponri Bridge, parked and told us to come down. I called his attention to my phone that he had broken and that he was going to repair it. He slapped me several times and began to beat me.

“I couldn’t escape but the other passenger was able to escape from the garage. I held him so that I could stand up and in the process his name tag was removed from his shirt.

“I was shouting that they shouldn’t use their uniform to intimidate, harass and beat people. More LASTMA officials joined him and they began to take videos of me, saying I tore the uniform of one of their colleagues and I prevented him from doing his job.

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“I kept shouting at them and I noticed that I had begun to bleed. I drew his attention that he had caused me to bleed and as a result I had lost my pregnancy.

“Their boss came and slapped me again, saying I was making noise and had created a scene. He called Iponri Police Station and told them that I had torn the uniform of one of his men and they should come and arrest me.

“They took me to the police station at Iponri, it is not far from their office. When we got to the police station, they took me to the divisional police officer’s office and narrated their side of the story to him, lying that they begged me to come down from the bus and I refused, so they had to drive me to their office and I tore their colleague’s uniform.

“The DPO asked for my side of the story and I narrated what happened to me, also showing him my evidence and that I was even bleeding. He told me to keep quiet because he knew that people like me liked to cause trouble and make false claims.

“He said they should file the case and take me to court. They filed the case on Tuesday in court but I was detained at the station till the following day.

“On Tuesday, they took me to the court late and when we got there, the court had closed for the day at 2pm. We got there late because LASTMA officials didn’t come on time and I was still bleeding.

“I was taken back to the police station and I was still bleeding. It was one police woman that gave me tissue paper to clean myself. The police still detained me till Wednesday morning and even as I continued bleeding.

“We went to court on Wednesday and the magistrate told them to let me go and treat myself then come back on Friday.

“On Friday, I went to the hospital to conduct some tests and I found out that I had lost my pregnancy of two months. After the test, I went back to the court but the LASTMA officers didn’t appear in court and the case was adjourned to Wednesday, April 3, 2024.”

With regard to this case, she said: “I want justice to be done because LASTMA officials cannot be wearing uniforms and bullying people; they are representatives of the government. They should not abuse the privilege and oppress people with their uniform.

“They are meant to carry out their duties professionally and not to abuse the privilege all in the name of carrying out their duties.

“I was not the driver nor the conductor. So, what was the essence of them taking me to their office and beating me up just because they felt I was going to do a video of them? If they have nothing to hide, why are they afraid of anybody making videos of them?

“People like these are not meant to be government officers because they are the bad eggs among the government workers and they will make people see LASTMA as evil people. All I want is that justice should be served to these erring LASTMA officials.”

When contacted, Adebayo Taofiq, director, public affairs and enlightenment department, LASTMA, said: “An LT commercial bus painted in Lagos State commercial colours was apprehended at Costain by our officer for the offence of one of the passengers sitting in front with the driver not using the seat belt. The door of the bus was open on the highway, which contradicts the Lagos State Transport Sector Reforms of 2018.

“The vehicle was loaded with 22 passengers and immediately the vehicle was apprehended, the driver came down and asked all the passengers to come down from the vehicle and he refunded their money to them. He ensured that they were taken to the nearest bus stop where the driver refunded all their money. It was only Ifeoluwa Grace that refused to collect her money from the driver.

“Initially, the driver said she paid N100 but she now claimed that she paid N400. He refunded her N400 and she said no. The driver now gave her N1,000 and she said the money that she gave to him was a new note and not an old note. She had a conversation with the driver and not with LASTMA officials because the vehicle had been contravened.

“The LASTMA officials took the vehicle to their office at Iponri and booked the vehicle immediately. Immediately they alighted from the vehicle at that office, the next thing she did was to hold the uniform of one of the officials and tore his uniform. Because she is a female and in any circumstance, due to the training given to our officers, they are trained not to engage in any physical contact with anybody, irrespective of the degree of the assault.

“As a result, the officer in charge of Iponri office quickly called policemen from Iponri Police Station and the DPO sent policemen to LASTMA office and picked the lady, along with the LASTMA officials, down to Iponri Police Station. On getting to the police station, the DPO asked the LASTMA officials what transpired and they explained and the lady too explained her own side of the story.

“The DPO asked the lady: were you given an option that you should collect your money back? She said yes, but the money given to her was an old naira note, instead of a new note, and that was the reason why she refused to collect the money.

“The DPO got infuriated and said, ‘what is the difference between a new note and an old note in as much as it is the same currency in the same country?’ She was bragging that her husband is this and that and the DPO said this matter is beyond him and he is going to arraign the matter at the court where the matter would be resolved.

“The LASTMA officials left and the DPO took custody of the lady. The following day, the police got a vehicle and took her to court for her to be arraigned but, unfortunately, the Magistrate’s Court A at Oyingbo did not sit on Tuesday and she was taken back to the station.

“The following day, she was taken to court where she was arraigned and she now claimed that while in the custody of the police, she lost her two-month pregnancy. The police were furious, how come she lost her pregnancy without any trace of blood?

“According to information gathered, the lady said she never knew that she was pregnant and it was when blood began to flow from her body that she knew that she was pregnant. The police asked her, where are the traces of blood? They could not find any traces of blood where she was detained even at the level of taking her to court.

“At the court, the magistrate gave her conditional bail that they should allow her to go home to go and treat herself and adjourned the matter to March 22.

“The incident happened on March 18, 2024, and she was arraigned on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, where the magistrate said she should be allowed to go home, and the case was adjourned to March 22, 2024, on Friday.

“The magistrate now adjourned the matter to May 3, 2024, because the lawyer she hired did not appear in court on March 22, 2024. This is what transpired between her and the police and the driver. LASTMA was not rightfully involved with her, the police and the driver.”