Three hoodlums pretending as local government traffic officers were on Wednesday arrested by the operatives of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) for extorting motorists around Oshodi Area.
FirstNews gathered that their arrest was ordered by the Chairman, Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, CSP Shola Jejeloye, following several complaints about their illicit activities.
The suspects are: Samuel Onyegbule (52), Olayiwola Thomas (53) and Kola Taiwo (47).
“The suspect had yesterday extorted N25,000 from one of their victims for obstruction. Another victim equally alleged he was extorted of the same amount the previous day”, Taskforce said.
Giving an account of his ordeal in the hands of the suspects, a victim who pleaded anonymity said, “They walked up to my vehicle while waiting for a traffic light in Oyetayo Street. They knocked on my side glass and I wound down to listen to them. They said I have committed a traffic offence and I was forced to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Secretariat, Oshodi, where I was made to cough up N25,000 as fine”.
Another victim, Bolt driver, said “I was arrested for dropping my client in front of his house in the inner street of Oshodi. It wasn’t a major road or expressway or where there are bus stops. They refused to listen to my explanation. They fined me N25,000.”
It was learnt that the suspects usually select vehicles their owners would be able to afford their illegal charges.
“They also brought into the same place several other vehicles arrested in the same manner like mine and they were made to pay as well. Some of them were made to pay a higher amount”, another victim said.
Meanwhile, CSP Jejeloye has warned that taskforce would launch a serious manhunt on hoodlums extorting motorists across the state.
“I have received a lot of complaints and we have taken time to analyse them. We have made our findings too. Lagos State Government would not tolerate such excesses”, he said.