Nine soldiers who plied the lane designated for the Bus Rapid Transit in Lagos State on Tuesday have paid fines to the state government, PUNCH Metro has learnt.
PUNCH Metro had reported that some soldiers, including one Major Dickson Okpor and one Lt.Col L.A. Bello, allegedly led scores of soldiers to assault officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority who had accosted them for plying the BRT lane on the Onipanu end of Ikorodu Road.
It was reported that after the soldiers left, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bashir Braimoh, came to the spot where he personally enforced the traffic law.
About nine soldiers were subsequently accosted for taking the BRT lane and their vehicles impounded.
Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday, the spokesman for LASTMA, Mr. Mamud Hassan, said the soldiers whose vehicles were impounded, had all paid fines.
He said, “The nine soldiers who were arrested for taking the BRT lane have paid fines and their vehicles have been released to them.
“The fines paid ranged from N20, 000 to N30,000. Those who gave up their vehicles willingly, paid N20,000 while the ones that resisted arrest, paid N30,000.”
The LASTMA spokesperson, however, said the soldiers who assaulted LASTMA officials had not yet been traced.
Hassan urged Lagosians, especially security agents, to be role models and respect the laws of the land.
He said, “They (security agents) should be role models in society by virtue of their training. We need their cooperation in order to restore sanity to our roads in Lagos State.
“Even Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, commissioners and senior civil servants do not ply the BRT lane. Security agents must therefore live by example.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 81 Division, Col. Mustapha Anker, said the army authorities had yet to identify the soldiers that assaulted the LASTMA officers.
Anker said even though the names of the major and lieutenant colonel that led the attack had been published, it would not be easy to track them down because there were many army formations in the state.
He said, “The army authorities are not happy about the incident. It is shameful. It is not as if we are trying to shield them, but we have not been able to trace the people who assaulted the LASTMA officials.
“There are many army formations in Lagos but give us time. Even the General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, Maj.Gen Isidore Edet, does not use the BRT lane. No soldier, therefore, has a right to use that lane.”