Driving Against Traffic: Be Ready To Face Consequences, Taskforce Boss Tells Offenders

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos

The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit {Taskforce} has urged motorists who have developed the habit and passion for driving against traffic (One-way) to be bold and courageous enough to face the Mobile Court.

Chairman of the Agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye made the clarification on Monday in a swift reaction to an online video of one Mr. George Udeze on his Facebook page, who alleged that Taskforce had impounded his White Honda Accord with registration number 03-566 DLA about  seven months ago.

Jejeloye said that there was no iota of truth in the report of the video, adding that the vehicle of the man in question was impounded for driving against traffic at Allen Avenue inward Opebi Road.

In a release by Gbadeyan Abdulraheem Head, Public Affairs Unit of the Agency, the chairman narrated that the man having discovered that there was traffic around the area, faced oncoming vehicles in their thousands creating a serious traffic bottleneck.

The Chairman further stated that all efforts by Taskforce Officials led by a Senior Police Officer to persuade him to roll down his vehicle window glass for possible engagement on why he had to do that, proved abortive.

Rather than  being civil in his approach and conduct,  Jejeloye explained that the offender started making several phone calls and kept them waiting for hours, mobilizing the general public against the  agency’s officials and threatened to deal with them, having known the degree and the magnitude of the offence committed which attracts forfeiture of the vehicle to the State Government.

Jejeloye stated that Mr. Udeze in his ungentlemanly  posture stated in the report that he was afraid when he saw his Country Policemen controlling traffic for ease of his own mobility and doing their lawful duties, but rather than encourage them for the patriotic act due to traffic pressure on the road , he chose to see them in his own imagination as nothing but  kidnappers, when the likes of him had blocked free flow of traffic around the area  by  their selfish conduct. 

‘’Let me emphasise here that you don’t need to be afraid of Policemen if you are doing the right things, afterall if your security is threatened you will still run to Police for safety of lives and property’’

Consequently, the offender also alleged in the video that his vehicle had been confiscated for the past 7 months. 

In response, the chairman said ” Our duty is to effect the arrest of offender(s}, but we do not have the power to issue fines and penalties, it is a legal issue which has to be decided by a Court of competent jurisdiction”. All efforts put in place by the Agency to let offenders bring their particulars forward to enable the Agency charge them to court always proved abortive. Some of them resort to lobbying the Agency Officials through several influences, cutting corners and monetary inducement to escape justice, and if it fails, they resort to blackmailing, needless media war and propaganda against the Agency’s officials; accusing them of extortions, assault, bribery and corruption”.

“The era of settling traffic offenses (one-way) out of court is gone. If you are courageous and hard enough to drive against traffic, you must also be bold enough to face the Court for its consequences”, Jejeloye stated.

He emphasised that ‘‘traffic bottlenecks popularly known as (Go slow and Hold ups) are not natural, it is not created by God, but a product of a minute recklessness and two minutes impatience on the road.’’

The Taskforce chairman admonished all recalcitrant offenders that traffic offence is not a criminal offence and that they should keep faith with the country’s Judicial system and summon courage to submit self for prosecution at the Court for the offence committed.

According to him, ”  it is better and cheaper for them to face the reality of the offence they committed, rather than being evasive or working assiduously to settle out of Court in order to sweep the issue under the carpet which is not acceptable to us. Nigerians are no fools”.

In a related development, the Chairman stated that the Agency in its drive to rid the State of menace of Okada riders on It’s highways had impounded over 129 Motorcycles over the weekend. He further said that the Agency will not condone any act of indiscipline and lawlessness from any recalcitrant okada operators on the restricted route.

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