Court jails traffic offenders, orders them to forfeit vehicles to government

Vehicles impounded by Lagos State Governor’s convoy, for driving against traffic at Ijora, on Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Court sitting in Ogba on Friday convicted six traffic offenders arrested by the convoy of the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, in Ijora-Olopa area of the state on December 16, while driving against traffic.

Those arrested and convicted include Adejoke Elemoro, Ogunlana Olatunji, Ganiyu Ayokuleyin, Ogunade Segun, Akinlabi Ahmed and Sunday Uzebor.

Magistrate Mobolaji Tanimola of Court 16 in Ogba convicted the motorists after they pleaded guilty to a one-count charge bordering on the offence filed against them by the government, a statement by Adebayo Taofiq, the spokesperson to the Lagos State Environmental Task Force, said.

Magistrate Tanimola specifically ordered the traffic offenders to forfeit their vehicles which included four cars, one motorcycle and a tricycle to the government.

The convicts had pleaded guilty to the one-count charge accusing them of driving against traffic contrary to and punishable under Section 7 (b) of the Lagos State Traffic Laws of 2012.

In her judgment, Magistrate Tanimola ordered the forfeiture of the vehicles to government and a payment of N50, 000 each as an option of fine to a six-month imprisonment for driving against on-coming traffic, contrary to the laws of the state.

Both motorcyclists and a tricyclist arrested along with the motorists were ordered to forfeit their motorcycles and a tricycle to government together with the payment of N5, 000 and N30, 000 respectively as an option of fine to a one-month imprisonment each according to the laws of the State.

The magistrate held that the decision of the court would go a long way in serving as deterrent to other motorists with the bad habit of contravening the Lagos State Traffic Laws, 2012.

ADEBAYO TAOFIQ

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

LAGOS STATE TASK FORCE

DECEMBER 18, 2015


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  • ed

    Taking away the cars?. That’s extreme injustice.
    All because the governor happen to be involved.
    They should be punished according to the set law and rules. The law must apply to all equality.

    • Adeola

      If it us written in the law of Lagos state nothing can stop it or else they should appeal. That is reason we have court of Appeal

      • Gugurus Ekpa

        The poor neither have the means nor the education to appeal against the harsh consequences of their actions. In addition, Nigerian judges are corrupt and as a result, are unlikely to look favorably at the plight of the poor.

  • Frank Picker

    How is the judgement extreme? People have lost their lives because they were hit by vehicles coming from the wrong side of the road. What can be more extreme than that? It is not justifiable to drive against traffic. The law enforcement officers who do it and the so called ‘VIP’ should also be sanctioned like this. The Governor should be commended for upholding the law.

    • Adeola

      I don’t know why our people re so myopic in thinking. We want better community but we don’t wanna change from our bad act. Lagos na wa

  • BoT

    The Nigerian laws are always very swift and tough on the poor. Akpabio almost killed an innocent road user the other day in his blatant disregard for traffic laws, yet he still sits pretty in the “hallowed” chambers of the Senate after spending State funds on his treatment abroad. These acts of selective justice will come back to hunt the society sooner or later. The ones we are seeing today is mere preamble.

  • linkhadj.

    The place where those people were arrested, Ijora Olopa, is part of the A papa neighbourhood affected by the known traffic grillock notoriously emanating from A papa Port. Everybody takes one.way there and this is near-official. The sentences should be reviewed. Instead of the Governor who knows about the A papa situation to find solutions to it, these people are been used as scape goats to cover the ineffectiveness of government actions. There is God ooo.

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    The government will not fix the traffic situation but it will hold innocent citizens accountable for violating traffic laws. It si almost as if Nigerian laws are sometimes designed to hook scapegoats. The government refuses to acknowledge its incompetence and how such incompetence led the offenders to behave the way they did. The laws in Nigeria are stacked up against the poor.

    • Adeola

      U re an ungrateful for such statement. Those of us that follow the normal route re fools or does the governor himself not on the normal Lane…. Be objective while analysing issues

      • Gugurus Ekpa

        Why are you angry like chimpanzee? If you follow the normal route, then good for you. It still does not absolve the government from its responsibility of ensuring that gridlocks are reduced to a healthy level. Fashola reduced gridlocks as Governor. I wonder why the current Governor is struggling to do the same?

    • Rumournaire

      Did you say “innocent citizens”? I agree that the government has a lot to do on the roads to ensure free flow of traffic. But don’t tell me about “innocent citizens”. We are like animals on the road once there is no one to enforce discipline. You get to a road junction and no one wants to give way to the other, so the road gets blocked. And you are telling me about “innocent citizens”?

      • Gugurus Ekpa

        Sure! These confused innocent citizens who do not know any better. They need to be re-educated on traffic laws.

  • Genusa

    I think paying of fine and/or imprisonment should be a sufficient sentence. Even a huge fine can go. But forfeiture of vehicles is way too hash for a traffic offense, in this economy that can take one several years to afford a vehicle, and some using it for business to feed a family, Since Governor Ambode is yet to fulfill his promise of tackling the Apapa gridlock, he should temper justice with mercy, and return their vehicles. But thats what the Lagos traffic law passed by Fashola’s government says. If you go against traffic, you forfeit your vehicle and pay fine or forfeit vehicle and get jailed. The part that forfeits vehicles should be reviewed , at least until we have better road networks.

    • Adeola

      Thanks ma brother

    • Gugurus Ekpa

      Genusa,

      The whole Nigeria project is designed to make the lives of the poor as miserable as possible while making the lives of the rich as comfortable as possible.

  • Frank Picker

    My friend’s father was killed by a bus driver driving against traffic. He was 78. The family could not find him for days. He lived in Olodi Apapa. Another person I know had 3 years of her life wasted when she was hit by a vehicle driving against traffic. Broken bones and now disabled. These are not rich people so it has nothing to do with poor or rich when breaking this law. How is the justice extreme when major consequences like death and permanent disability can happen? There is no excuse for it. Bad roads, poor people involved etc cannot justify this. Once people know that a law can be broken they will soon disobey every other law. The murderer can always give an excuse why he killed someone. Should we give in because his excuse is plausible to him? The way we are in Nigeria today unless the penalties are high, people will seek to manipulate or break the law. Corruption is not only stealing money. It is also corruption when laws are broken. Driving against traffic is corruption and it does not help anyone.

    • PolyGon2013

      I totally agree.

  • Otile

    This what I hate about sharia, see how Alhaji Akinwunmi Ambode and Magistrate Alhaji Mobolaji Tanimola imposed harsh punishment on he motorists striping them of livelihood. To me the harsh punishment is like amputation.

    • Deen Tee

      Stop behaving funny. Ambode is a christian and not a muslim. What the offenders were sentenced for has nothing to do with any religion; be it christianity, islam or traditional. Which religion is against the law of the land in any part of the world?

      • Otile

        Is Oba of Lagos, the one who handpicked Ambode a Christian, do you know whether the governor is undergoing gradual conversion to Islam to please his master? As a Muslim magistrate Judge Mobolaji would have preferred to amputate them. My point is that striping them of livelihood is the same thing as amputation.

        • tope

          How dumb can u get, u know nothing of sharia ,u think people are just amputated like that,get educated ,we are in the 21st century for God’s sake,does nigeria or lagos look like an Islamic state to you,u said oba handpicked him,so he’s converting him,is ambode dumb,is he a slave,a religion he has ceaselessly practiced with his family ,will he just throw dat away to please one oba i doubt is a strong Muslim,i just can’t imagine how u’ll link dat to islam. u are just a bigot yarning trash

  • In advance economies where people have fear of penalties, they obey the laws of their lands that is why things are working in those countries. Some Nigerians are just too stubborn, they love chaos and anarchy, they will never obey the laws of the land. We have to begin somewhere, if Nigeria must advance, we have to start obeying the laws of our beloved country. I believe the punishments are deserving…this has to be a continuous exercise. Many of these people do not obey traffic lights, let alone pedestrian crossings…Good job governor, carry on!

  • Spoken word

    If this is the way he shows his humane touch to lagosians I wonder what it will be like if he decides to show his tough side.Na one term governor this guy go be.

    • PolyGon2013

      You took advantage of his liberal attitude. Thus, needed to get touch.

      • Spoken word

        English please.i am sure you mean tough.

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