Despite the ban on their activities in Lagos State, local government traffic officials still operate freely in Oshodi.

Motorists who ply major streets and roads in the area might, one time or the other, come across men of the Oshodi Local Government traffic unit in branded aprons.

These fellows, who move in groups and sometimes in rickety towing vans, harassed private car owners.

They are usually stationed around Charity, Ladipo, Arowojobe and Mafoluku areas in the LGA.

Once a motorist stops in any of these areas, to pick a call or allow a passenger alight, they appear, from nowhere.

Some of them would jump out of their van grabbing the steering wheel if the motorist has his car's window open and yelling at the driver to get out.

In some cases, they enter into the car through the rear door, barking that the driver has violated the local government’s ‘no parking’ rule.

Even when cars are parked well off the road in such a way that they pose no obstruction whatsoever to the flow of traffic, the exploitative traffic officers will still come around.

Sometimes, they tow the cars away, especially if they look posh. At other times, they lurk around, wait for the driver to appear, and promptly slam him or her with their ridiculous charge.

One motorist, Ismail  narrated his ordeal to Bounce News on Tuesday. He was accosted around Charity Bus Stop on Monday around 3:00 p.m.

He noted that the way they stormed the scene left him puzzled as to whether they were indeed government officials or touts.

Ismail was heading towards Isolo when he heard a strange sound emanating from his car.

“I stopped to find the source of the noise. I had barely stepped out of the car when these boys swooped on me in a commando style.

“I explained why I had stopped. But they were deaf. I did not even park on the road. I ensured I parked where I would not obstruct traffic. After much explanation and pleas, they demanded I follow them to their office at the council secretariat.

"As we drew closer to Church Street, one of them suggested I should be pardoned, because the impending fine could be backbreaking. “If we take you to the office, you will pay 30,000 Naira,” the man said. After much bargaining, Ismail was forced to part with 10,000 Naira.

Bounce News visited the secretariat of the Oshodi/ Isolo Local Local government on Oyetayo street to ascertain the true status of the traffic officials.

The Chairman of the local government , Bolaji Ariyoh confirmed the existence of task force on traffic.

Asked if there was no term of reference for the task force such that they had to carry out their activities indiscriminately, Ariyoh said there was a term of reference, but that some of the officers might have become overzealous.

He referred the reporter to the head of the taskforce, one Ridwan Alesh.

Attempts to physically locate Alesh in the council premises were not successful. He was out in the streets with his boys looking for would-be traffic offenders.

When our reporter finally reached Alesh on the telephone and put it to him that the purpose and methods of the taskforce lacked clarity, he hung up.

No other member of task force or council officials would offer comment.

The Lagos State government had two weeks ago banned all local government traffic officials from the road, but these men have continued unchecked.

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