Thursday 27 December 2012

LASTMA men beat bus driver to death

A commercial bus driver, Isaac Popoola, on Monday died after being allegedly assaulted by two officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority in the Oshodi area of the state.

The bus conductor, Aremu Salawu, who witnessed the incident, said the LASTMA officials, Adesanya Olatunde and Oludele Ogunrinde, assaulted Popoola at about 6.30am around Brown Bus Stop resulting in his death.

He said the deceased’s bus with number plate, XL166SNK, conveying 17 passengers from Igando/Isheri was approaching Brown Junction when a LASTMA pick-up van crossed the bus.

The leader of the LASTMA officials, according to Salawu, ordered two of his men to impound the vehicle and take it to the agency’s office.

Salawu, who narrated the incident to one of our correspondents on the premises of the police Area F Command, alleged that Olatunde hit Salawu’s head against the steering and the door frame of the bus many times before he died.

He said Popoola, 54, was tussling for the steering with the LASTMA official, who resorted to using the metallic head of the seat belt to hit the driver’s head in an attempt to forcibly take over the bus.

Salawu said, “Baba (Popoola) held on to the steering asking what his offence was. But the LASTMA man (Olatunde) said it was his commander that ordered him to seize the bus.

“When Baba refused to leave the steering, the LASTMA man started hitting Popoola’s head against the steering and the door frame. He did this so many times, until he was unable to talk again.

“I then rushed to Mosafejo Police Station where I made a statement and people who were watching the scenario were able to apprehend one of the LASTMA men (Olatunde). They brought him to the police station before we were transferred to to Area F.

“They did not tell him (driver) what his offence was because no passenger alighted from our bus at a wrong point and he used his seat belt.”

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