7th July, 2010
An octogenarian, Pa Ganiyu Badru of 10, Adio Street, Apelehin, Bariga, Lagos, Nigeria has accused two officials of the Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA) of being in possession of his bag containing N1.06m (one million and six thousand naira cash).
The 80-year-old transporter, popularly known as â€˜All For Godâ€™ told P.M.NEWS that the two officials identified as S. O. Ajayi and Emmanuel Samuel, a mobile policeman attached to LASTMA unit at Anthony Village, drove away his vehicle, an LT 35Â bus with registration number XK 495 EPE with his bag which allegedly contained the money.
In his account to P.M.NEWS, Pa Badru claimed that he withdrew N756,000 from his Union Bank account at Obalende Lagos, a day before the incident, to purchase a vehicle to increase his fleet of transport business, but the dealer told him that the price had increased to one million and six thousand naira.
According to Badru, â€œThe following day, I went to the same bank to withdraw another N277,000 to balance the total amount for the purchase of the vehicle, out of which I removed N7,000.
â€œMy driver, Ramoni Ishola took me in my vehicle along with other passengers and I sat beside the driver with the bag containing the money, only for six LASTMA officials to swoop on us, accusing my driver of obstructing traffic while dropping off passengers at the bus stop,â€ he narrated.
â€œThey ordered him to come down from the vehicle and he obeyed, but when they ordered me to alight I introduced myself as the owner of the vehicle, explaining to them that I had huge sum of money in my bag and could not risk walking on the street with it. Volunteering to follow them to anywhere they are taking the bus.
â€œTo my surprise, the LASTMA officials and the mobile policeman forcefully dragged me down from the vehicle and I fell, hitting my knee on the road before zooming off with the vehicle containing my money. Shouts of â€˜my moneyâ€™, â€˜my moneyâ€™ fell on deaf ears,â€ the transporter alleged.
He told P.M.NEWS that he quickly crossed to the other side of the road to report the incident at Ketu Police Station where he was referred to the LASTMA office at Oshodi, which he said he did immediately.
Badru, however, lamented that since the incident and despite his petition to LASTMA through his lawyer on 12 June, 2010, the police at Ketu and LASTMA officials at Oshodi had been tossing him around.
He called on Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to come to his aid so that the matter is not swept under the carpet.
When contacted by P.M.NEWS, the Chief Executive Officer of LASTMA, Mr. Young Arebamen, a retired Commissioner of Police, said he was not aware of the incident, but quickly swung into action, ordering one of the operational vehicles with a police corporal to take the victim and our correspondent to Ketu Police Station for the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to commence investigation.
The DPO, however, insisted that LASTMA should conduct internal investigation and transfer the case to him.
Investigation has commenced at the LASTMA officeÂ with the complainant writing his statement.