Some drivers in Lagos who were arrested by the state’s task force unit for violating traffic laws on Tuesday explained how they were caught in the act.
The drivers were among those freed by the task force chairman, Saheed Egbeyemi, because they were first time offenders.
One of them, Segun Olusoga, a Taxify driver, said his passenger had pleaded with him to find a way out of the traffic because she was late for an appointment causing him to manoeuvre through the BRT lane at Maryland.
“I drive a Toyota Corolla with a plate number AGL136BH. Yesterday, in the process of trying to satisfy my client, I manoeuvred traffic and took the BRT lane at the Ojota/Maryland Bridge and was caught by members of task force and my vehicle was brought here,” said Mr Olusoga.
“The passenger I was trying to satisfy to my surprise left me with my problem.”
Another driver, Lawal Azeez, who drives a Volvo X40 said he was caught and brought to the towing compound on Monday after his vehicle was impounded at Anthony Bus stop.
“My pointer fell, I put on my hazard lights and went to pick it up and members of the task force seized my car for obstructing traffic.”
For Akinpelu Atanda, it was his driver’s poor knowledge of Lagos traffic laws that led to his Ford Edge ending up at the task force’s towing compound.
“I am just coming from Hajj. Although I committed an offence, my driver was a newcomer from Ilorin and didn’t know the lane was for BRT only,” Mr Atanda said.
“I’m happy they have decided to release after being arrested yester night.”
Earlier, Mr Egbeyemi said the offenders were released with a stern warning to desist from violating the state’s traffic laws, adding that repeat offenders would be visited with the full weight of the law.
“It is not true that we are anti-masses,” Mr Egbeyemi, a chief superintendent of police.
“We fight those people that are adamant and defiant. We are not in a state of anarchy, we are in an orderly society where there must be law and order. We take offenders to court, and once anyone is pronounced guilty, such ends in prison.
“How can a sane driver be driving against another vehicle coming with speed? This is how innocent people are killed.”
Mr Egbeyemi urged members of the taskforce to desist from any act that can dent the image of the unit, noting that it would be difficult to enforce the law once they engage in corrupt acts.
“I’m appealing to Lagosians to abide by the rules and regulations that guide road use. Be a good citizen and don’t offer members of the task force bribe and in case any of them demand please kindly report.”
The task force boss said although the unit understood the plights of the masses, the laws must be respected.
“These are things we do but people don’t understand. It is my duty to raid when people are doing illegality,” he said.