Suspected thugs said to be working with some officials from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority stabbed a commercial bus driver, Jamiu Alao, in the Costain area of ​​Lagos State.

PUNCH Subway he deduced that Alao’s bus developed a fault and broke down on the way.

Some LASTMA officials were said to have attempted to tow the bus away, a move the driver resisted.

Shortly after, the criminals arrived at the scene and stabbed the victim with a broken bottle in the presence of the officials.

The driver, who spoke to our correspondent on Wednesday, said the incident occurred on December 22, 2022.

He said: “My driver and I loaded our bus at Apongbon and when we reached Costain at the Nigerian Brewery, the bus developed a fault under the bridge. I found out that the equipment was faulty.

“Some guys helped us push the vehicle to the side of the road to avoid causing traffic. I paid the guys who helped us. We saw a mechanic and he was already fixing the vehicle when some LASTMA officials arrived with their vehicle and a tow truck.

“They started harassing us and I told them that the vehicle was not on the road and I was properly parked, but they insisted that they wanted to seize my vehicle; I told them they couldn’t.

“After saying this, some boys who usually followed them came and started pushing me. The next thing, one of them took a bottle out of the LASTMA vehicle and hit me on the head. Before I could see who smashed the bottle on my head, someone else hit me with the bottle again and they used the bottle to stab me in the forehead.

“LASTMA officials observed everything; they were already sitting on my bus, wanting to take it. They didn’t say or do anything. It was when they saw that there was a lot of commotion that one of them signaled to the others to get off the bus so they could leave. They took his vehicle and fled. Those thugs severely injured me and my driver.”

Alao said he called the agency’s spokesman, Taofiq Adebayo, the next day to complain about the attack on him.

He noted that the LASTMA official then summoned him to the agency’s headquarters in Oshodi.

“When we got there, they asked me for evidence. I told them that I only have the initial part of the LASTMA vehicle number, which is 216; one of the officials verified the number in his system and said that his officials in Zone 3 use those vehicles.

“They called them on the phone and asked what had happened. One of them who was present that day said that the guys from the area called his boss and when they got to Costain, I refused to dump the vehicle and it resulted in a fight.

“The PRO sent that official to come to the headquarters that day, but we did not see him. Eventually, after a few days, they brought the officers to us, but they continued to defend themselves, saying before they came, we had been fighting with the guys from the area.

“Is it possible that I had been fighting with them before and they hadn’t stolen my phones and other possessions? They did not let other witnesses who came with me into the office and they told me to also leave because the investigation was open and nothing has been done since then,” added the driver.

He noted that the incident was reported to the Iponri police station, adding that he struggled to raise money for his treatment.

“These LASTMA officials use these guys from the area to do their dirty work,” Alao said.

The president of the Nigerian Drivers Joint Welfare Association, Akintade Abiodun, claimed that LASTMA officials usually worked in cahoots with thugs.

He said: “The guys in the area have the phone numbers of all these officials and they call them when they find an unsuspecting driver. They know that if any vehicle gets towed and whether the driver commits a violation or not, they (area guys) will have their own share. There should be an end to this. These guys will come to a stab to overpower any driver, conductor or anyone involved because they know LASTMA officials will give them nothing if the vehicle isn’t towed.”

However, the Director of Public Affairs and Lighting Department, LASTMA, Adebayo, said that the agency had nothing to do with the incident.

Adebayo, in a statement, explained that during an agency fact-finding mission, Alao said the thugs attacked him because he refused to pay them money to allow a technician to work on his faulty vehicle.

The statement read: “Investigations revealed that the commercial driver, Jamiu Alao, and his boys were stabbed to death by area boys in Ijora because he refused to pay them money (owo oni-ile) before his technician was allowed to work on the bus. your damaged vehicle. mountain bus.

“The heated discussion then turned into a serious fight in which some members of the transport union supported the driver and attacked the boys in the area with dangerous weapons.

“Unfortunately for the driver, he and his driver were stabbed to death in different locations by these notorious area boys before the police arrived. LASTMA officials, with the tow vehicle operator, immediately left the scene and continued their official duties.”