Some youths suspected to be students of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, allegedly abducted a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority official and injured three others on Thursday because the traffic officials reportedly accosted them for using the lane designated for Bus Rapid Transit on Wednesday.
The students were said to have also gone to LASTMA Zone 15 Office, Iponri, and vandalised four impounded vehicles in the office.
LASTMA spokesperson, Mrs. Bola Ajao, told our correspondent on the telephone that the students were members of the school’s Students’ Union.
She said, “On Wednesday afternoon, an unregistered Mazda bus with the inscription ‘Yaba College of Technology Students’ Union’ was seen using the BRT lane around Post Office, Oyingbo. The vehicle had eight occupants including one Ademola Adesola, the union’s leader.
“The students became unruly and refused to cooperate with the LASTMA officials headed by Mr. Kayode Odunuga. So, anti-robbery policemen attached to Denton Police Division immediately rushed to the scene.
“After the police intervened, the students then cooperated and the vehicle was taken down to LASTMA Zone 15 office at Iponri. On getting there, the students were made to sign an undertaking which must be typed on a Yabatech letter-head paper. Adesola said he did not have an original but a photocopy of a letter-head paper. Based on compassionate grounds, we accepted it and they were allowed to go.
“On Thursday, however, the students suddenly abducted a LASTMA official, Mr. Obasanmi Oladimeji, who was on duty at Jibowu area. The students then went down to Zone 15 office with two buses; one commercial bus and the red Mazda bus which they used on Wednesday. The students vandalised four impounded vehicles which were on the premises.”
The incident was said to have caused a traffic snarl at Jibowu as on-lookers ran helter skelter.
Ajao told PUNCH Metro that as LASTMA officials tried to assuage the students, they got angrier and even assaulted three other officials on the premises.
She added that the fight would have escalated if not for the timely intervention of the policemen attached to Iponri Station
One of the vandalised vehicles
“When the students sighted policemen, they immediately took to their heels but luckily we caught one Joshua Toba, a 27-year-old man. Joshua claimed that he was not a student but an electrician who had been urged by the students to accompany them on a ‘peace mission,’” she said.
The students were said to have gone down to the LASTMA office, Oshodi where they also allegedly staged a protest before fleeing.
Ajao told our correspondent that as at press time, the abducted LASTMA official had not yet been released by the students.
When contacted, the spokesman, Yabatech, Mr.Kunle Adams, said he had heard of the incident but had yet to get all the information.
When contacted, the an assistant to Ngozi Braide, the state Police Public Relations Officer, said she was in a meeting.
However, subsequent calls to her phone rang out.
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