A female tricycle operator in Lagos, Remi Johnson, is currently fighting for her life at the Federal Road Safety Commission hospital at Ojodu, Lagos following an attack by a LASTMA official.
P.M.NEWS gathered that Johnson, a widow and mother of two, was attacked by an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority for pleading on behalf of her brother, Smart Ofariko, who was arrested at Ogba-Ojodu road for obstructing traffic on Wednesday.
Investigations revealed that Ofariko was arrested by LASTMA officials for parking his tricycle at Aguda Bus Stop to receive a phone call.
Narrating the incident to P.M.NEWS, Ofariko explained that he called Johnson when he was asked to pay N5,000 by the LASTMA officials. He denied obstructing traffic, saying that he parked his tricycle at a bus stop to receive his call.
When Johnson arrived, one of the LASTMA officials identified as Mr. Raimi Odukoya attached to Ojodu zone, asked her not to intervene in the matter and allegedly pushed her and she fell down, hitting her head on the floor.
She passed out and was rushed to the FRSC hospital along Ojodu-Berger Road by the LASTMA officials.
“My sister would have died but I thank God that the nurses on duty saved her life,” Ofariko stated during a visit to the hospital with our correspondent.
When contacted, Head of Public Relations Unit of LASTMA, Bola Ajao, said Johnson was not pushed or attacked by LASTMA officials as alleged.
She explained that Johnson collapsed when she was asked to pay a certain amount of money before her impounded tricycle would be released to her for preventing LASTMA officials from performing their duty.
“When I called LASTMA officers at Ojodu-Berger, they told me that Mrs. Johnson was not pushed but collapsed after being told to pay a certain amount of money before she could collect her impounded tricycle,” Ajao explained on phone.
Reacting to the incident, Chairman, Duact Accord Business Limited, the franchise operator for tricycle operators in Ojodu, Akeem Adebeso, expressed shock over the manner the widow was treated by LASTMA officials.
“We have reported the matter at the Ojodu Police Station. We can no longer tolerate the excesses of LASTMA officials in Ojodu. We want Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to intervene in this matter. Our members are always harassed by LASTMA officials and it is time to stop it,” he said.