A motorist, Bakare Abdusalam, has accused officials reportedly working with the Itire Ikate Local Council Development Area, Mushin, Lagos, of extorting him of the sum of N10,000.
Bakare said the incident happened on Tuesday around the Cele area of Mushin while he was on his way to the area office for capturing so that he could get his driver’s licence from the Federal Road Safety Corps which also has an office in the building.
Bakare in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday said, “I was going for my capturing to get my driver’s licence. I was trying to locate the office because I was not familiar with the route. So I slowed down my vehicle. I tried to ask someone for the route to the office, and suddenly a man ran out from nowhere, drew out a rod and began hitting my vehicle. Before I knew what was going on, another man jumped inside my car after forcefully opening the door, and later, the three of them asked me to drive to the office. That was the office I was actually going. When we got to the office. I asked them for my offence but they said I must pay a fine. I asked them who they were, they refused to hear me out. I called my father, who is also a local government worker, to come around, but when he came, they still didn’t listen to him. They demanded N55,000. After some arguments, they later said they would take N10,000. They refused to take the transfer and did not issue a receipt for the payment.”
Bakare said he managed to take a video recording of the scene while a lady in the office whom he gave her name simply as Amanda, was taking the money.
In the video, a fair-skinned lady sitting at a table was seen taking cash from Bakare’s father. She was seen counting the money after receiving it.
Also at the scene were two other persons wearing a purple uniform with the inscription ‘MLG Traffic and Environmental Enforcement Unit’ written on the back.
A source in the area office who spoke on condition of anonymity said extortion of such nature was prevalent at the said office, saying “several people who came for different purposes at the office were extorted in that nature.”
Contacted, the head of the LCDA Area Office, Akeem Adeyemi, said he had been able to identify the suspected persons and he promised that the victim would be refunded.
Adeyemi who spoke in a telephone conversation with our correspondent on Thursday, after investigating, said, “I know those involved. I have instructed a refund for the victim.”
Adeyemi noted that the suspected persons were not official workers of the LCDA adding that they were mostly political appointees.