No fewer than 19 drivers have been arraigned by the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit for driving against traffic.
The drivers were arrested by the task force operatives on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and were arraigned on Friday before Chief Magistrate Amos Olajuwon of the Lagos State Mobile Court at Oshodi.
One of the defendants, Felix John, who pleaded guilty to the offence, forfeited his Honda to the Lagos State Government.
The Head, Public Affairs of the task force, Taofiq Adebayo, in a statement on Sunday said the enforcement operation was led by the agency’s Chairman, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi.
The statement read in part, “Egbeyemi confirmed that 12 private car owners and seven commercial bus drivers were apprehended during the enforcement operation. He disclosed that he was surprised that motorists, including private car owners, could be driving against traffic on the expressway without fear of imminent collision with oncoming vehicles.
“He stated that the ongoing construction of the BRT Corridor along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway by the present government would decongest gridlock around the area.
“The chairman urged motorists, particularly commercial bus drivers, to desist from driving against traffic and obey the different traffic signs conspicuously displayed by traffic officers along the road.”
Egbeyemi also warned that any motorists arrested for driving against traffic in any parts of the state would be charged to court, adding that the state Acting Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, had directed that all the arrested motorists be prosecuted.
“Chief Magistrate Amos Olajuwon of the Lagos State Mobile Court, who presided over the case, ordered the forfeiture to the government one of the impounded 19 vehicles, a Honda car, belonging to Mr. Felix John, with number plate, BDG 465 XL, after John pleaded guilty to the charge of driving against oncoming vehicles. The offence is contrary to Schedule (1), Item 27 of the Lagos State Road Traffic Laws of 2012.
“Olajuwon, however, adjourned till December 7, 2017, for the commencement of trial of other 18 arrested motorists, who pleaded not guilty before the court,” the statement added.
The prosecuting counsel, Olumide Ajibola, was quoted as saying that the arraignment would serve as a deterrent to motorists across the state.