Some motorists plying Wemco Road in Ogba, Lagos have expressed anger at the way officials of the Ojodu Local Council Development Area extort money from them. punch nigeria reports
The motorists who spoke with newsmen said the amount the officials collect from them for alleged illegal parking was N10,000.
Some shop owners at the Sunday Market, which is close to the LCDA secretariat annex at Ogba, said the officials of the LCDA were menace to motorists in the area.
On Monday, when our correspondent visited the area, the officials were seen lurking around the area.
A woman, Mrs. Kemi Shokoya, said she was forced to part with the usual N10,000 on June 14.
She said, “I stopped on the side of the road, not far from the Sunday Market to buy meat. I did not even alight from the car.
“A man wearing a reflective jacket approached me and said I had parked illegally. I told him I had only stopped that I did not have the intention of staying there for long.
“He forcibly entered the car and drove me to their office. I begged them to let me go. I told them I had no idea I could not wait for a moment there, even though I didn’t intend to park there. But because I could not leave the car there I was forced to pay the N10,000.”
Shokoya said that day, she also saw other motorists accused of illegal parking at the secretariat, noting that they were asked to pay N10,000 each before their vehicles were released as well.
Some commercial drivers at the park close to the secretariat annex also accused the officials of extortion.
One of them, Mr. Omoniyi Adebayo, said, “They target private vehicles mostly because commercial drivers around here are aware of their antics.
“We all know that they collect N10,000 from owners of impounded vehicles. As early as 9am, the officials are already out, especially at the market junction.
“I was driving a private car the last time they impounded my vehicle. They deflated its tyres and I had to pay N10,000 before it was released.”
Another motorist told our correspondent that the day his car was impounded, an okada rider had stopped him to get directions.
The motorist said, “While I stopped for a moment to give him directions, an official in reflective jacket approached me and told me a nail had punctured my tyre.
“Immediately I alighted to check the tyre, he jumped inside my car and told me I parked illegally. I was so furious, because he knew when I stopped to give the okada rider a direction.
“The official drove my car to their office a few metres from the place I had stopped and because I had a lot to do that day, I could not argue it out with them. They insisted I had to pay the N10,000. These people just want to extort people at all cost.”
Some commercial drivers at Ogba told our correspondent that the officials get half of the proceeds while the rest go to the LCDA’s treasury.
“That is why they don’t listen when you beg them. They are always desperate because of the money,” a driver, who simply identified himself as Gani, said.
When contacted, the Chairman of the LCDA, Mr. Julius Oloro, said the officials were “given permission” to fine motorists who did not heed warnings issued to them after parking illegally.
Oloro, who spoke on the phone, said, “The purpose of the activities of our officials in that area is not really to make money but to ensure motorists obey the laws of the land.
“The instruction I gave to them was to ensure that if any motorist parks illegally, they should ensure they take the photograph of the scene as evidence.”