If your vehicle has been stopped wrongly by LASTMA officials or you have been harassed by any of these state traffic officers, the right thing to do is to file a complaint against the LASTMA official(s) as the case maybe. This article provides information on how to report a LASTMA official and the numbers to call to make your complaint. We also included their powers, so that you would know when you are in the right.
OVERVIEW OF LAGOS STATE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT (LASTMA)
LASTMA is the acronym for Lagos State Traffic Management and this traffic agency was set up by the Lagos state government to regulate traffic on Lagos roads, protect law-abiding road vehicle users and arrest traffic offenders who go against the state’s traffic laws in the state. Although, LASTMA have their responsibilities and roles on motorists defined, the LASTMA officials are not empowered to harass, maim, intimidate, exploit or wrongfully accuse an innocent motorist as a lawbreaker by demanding bribes or forcing financial demands upon them.
If you a Lagosian, you must have seen or being a victim of LASTMA officials intimidation of any sort. It becomes imperative that you know your own rights, the powers of LASTMA officials and the numbers to call to report an erring LASTMA official. We shall look at the roles and powers of Lagos State Traffic Management Officials (LASTMA) as they have power to arrest but can’t detain anyone.
MAJOR FUNCTIONS OF LASTMA
There are many roles that LASTMA officials perform in the state such as regulating motorists and other road users. Unfortunately, these functions are sometimes neglected and are used to intimidate innocent motorists. The primary functions of LASTMA officers include:
- The effective control, management and coordinated regulation of traffic-related matters within the confines of Lagos state.
- Orientating the public by enlightening drivers and motorists alike on traffic laws and the proper use of highways.
- They ensure traffic safety and accident management by responding to emergency on Lagos roads.
- They are empowered to conduct alcohol tests and research on drivers’ behavior to ensure traffic safety and avoidance of accident.
- They also install traffic control devices and it is their duty to maintain these devices on the state highways.
- Cooperate with other sister traffic management agencies such as the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), FRSC and even the traffic officers of the Nigerian Police to ensure that traffic operations are stable statewide.
- LASTMA officials are charged to ensure hitch-free traffic flow on Lagos roads.
CAN A LASTMA OFFICER ARREST ME?
Yes, LASTMA officials have been empowered by law to arrest suspected individuals who commit road traffic offence just like other traffic regulation agencies. To avoid arrest, you have to be on the right so that you can either challenge the accusation by requesting for a trial by a court. If you are found guilty and can’t defend yourself, you are expected to pay the summary fine or they pay damages. You should be aware that LASTMA officials don’t have the right to detain any individual, but can only arrest. If by any chance you are arrested by any of the officers with the charge looking unreasonable, the official can do either of the following:
- He or she can take you to a police station to be detained, while you wait for your case to be transferred to a competent court or
- The official must immediately present you before a traffic court or better still a special offences court.
Everyone is guaranteed a right to personal liberty according to section 35 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution which means that any powers of arrest done or carried out by any LASTMA official is subject to this law. We advice that you get the help of a good attorney because these LASTMA officials are very cunning and are fond of accusing innocent motorists who don’t know their rights.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A LASTMA OFFICIAL
To report a LASTMA official for intimidating you or for wrong arrest, there are steps to follow if you must express your disdain over the conduct of the LASTMA official in exercising his/her functions. They include:
- Ensure that the name of the erring LASTMA official is noted. Their names are normally written boldly on their uniforms.
- You should note down the venue of the event, time and date in which the issue or complaint occurred.
- Put down in writing, a formal statement addressing your complaint extensively on what transpired that led to your arrest or vehicle been impounded.
- Having witnesses about the complained act is a bonus on your part. They will also be required to write their statements as well.
- Make sure that all contact details of you and the witnesses are well and boldly written in the statement.
- If you have evidence such as images, videos, or document to proove your claim, ensure that these are also put or attached to the complaint.
- Send this copy to the LASTMA Command Center via email at [email protected] or in person at Public Relation Unit, LSTC Building, Oshodi Apapa Express Way, Ilupeju, Lagos state.
- Make sure you get a confirmation receipt of your complaint been added to the list of complaints.
NUMBER TO CALL TO REPORT A LASTMA OFFICIAL
For general complaints and quick response, you can report a LASTMA official by dialing the following number to lodge your complaint against a LASTMA officer:
- COMPLAINTS – 08129928503
- PROVOST – 08129928469
- SURVEILLANCE – 08129928490
- GENERAL MANAGER – 08129928550 (SMS ONLY)
As you notice, the rules are easy when you have witnesses. Therefore, do not hesitate to report any case of a extortion of a LASTMA official. This would help serve as a check to curb the excessive distortion and intimidation by these LASTMA officers.
LASTMA WEBSITE, EMAIL & HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS
If you want to reach LASTMA or contact them, you can by these methods:
- LASTMA WEBSITE: https://lastma.lagosstate.gov.ng/
- LASTMA HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS: LSTC building, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ilupeju-Oshodi, Lagos
- LASTMA PHONE NUMBER: 01-4703325, or 01-7743026
- LASTMA EMAIL: [email protected]