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Edo Commissioner warns traffic officers against extortion

05 January 2014, 07:21

Benin - Omo-Ojo Orobosa, the Commissioner for Transport in Edo, on Saturday warned officials of Edo State Traffic Management Agency (ESTMA) against extortion of motorists.

He gave the warning while addressing ESTTMA officials during their weekly drill at the ministry’s headquarters.

Orobosa said that the warning became necessary following several reports he had received on the "unwholesome acts of some officers.

"Right now, I have just ordered the suspension of one officer for taking a bribe of N15 000 from an offending motorist who drove against traffic.

"We are also now looking for the motorist; we will arrest and prosecute him for traffic violation and for giving bribe to a government official,’’ he said.

The commissioner, who later led ESTMA officials on a road traffic monitoring exercise, impounded about 40 commercial vehicles.

Orobosa said that the owners of the vehicles had yet to comply with the state government’s directive on the approved colour for commercial vehicles.

"We have been educating the public and concerned transport unions on the government order on a uniform colour code for buses and taxis.

"Government gave a deadline of 31 December 2013. Yet, as of today, you can still see defaulters.

"The owners of the impounded vehicles will be made to pay to government coffers N40 000 for taxis and N60 000 for buses. The amount will cover the vehicles’ painting and administrative handling charges,’’ he said.

Orobosa said that the government took the measure to stem the spate of robbery in the state, as suspected robbers often used unpainted cars to perpetrate their acts.

"With the colour code and the zone’s number code boldly written on the body of the vehicle, security operatives and the public can easily identify any offending commercial vehicle.

"In the next few weeks, we will install 330 signposts at approved bus stops within the Benin metropolis.

"We are, therefore, appealing to car owners and motorists to ensure that they stop and drop off passengers only at these designated bus stops.

"ESTMA officials have been given marching orders to apprehend any offender, just as my officials within the week apprehended two government-owned commercial buses for contravening traffic laws.

"In this crusade of ensuring orderliness on our roads, ESTMA will not spare any offender in the course of enforcing traffic laws,” he said.



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