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
As at 4pm when one of our correspondents left the Area F Command, Salawu’s body was still lying in the bus.
It was observed that there were no bruises on the head of the deceased.
The 50-year-old wife of the deceased, Modupe, and his son,
Ibukunoluwa, a graduate of Accounting from the Federal Polytechnic,
Offa, Kwara State, along with other sympathisers were also on the
premises of the command
Ibukunoluwa, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said he had
just graduated and awaiting his call-up for the B Batch of the National
Youth Service Corps in February 2013.
He said his father left their house at 16, Ojo Ogundana Crescent, Off
Jimoh Akinremi, Jimoh Bus Stop, Akowonjo, early in the morning of
“I can’t believe I don’t have a father again. My father left home
very early this morning, only for us to be informed by his mechanic few
hours later that he had died,” Ibukunoluwa said.
The management of LASTMA has however dissociated itself from the incident.
A statement signed by the General Manager of the agency, Babatunde
Edu, stated the errant officials acted contrary to the agency’s
Edu said Olatunde was identified by the agency’s Provost Marshall and
handed over to the police while Ogunrinde who was reported to be off
duty as at the time of the incident was still at large.
He stated that the officials were in the area to carry out illegal operation.
“The arrested suspect (Olatunde) has been handed over to Mosafejo
Police Station and eventually transferred to Akinpelu Police Station for
further investigation; while effort is on to arrest other suspect
(Ogunrinde),” Edu said.
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