A police inspector, Ben Thompson, and an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Caleb Akerele, have been hospitalised after they were allegedly assaulted by two bus drivers who were dressed in military camouflage along the Eko Bridge.
The drivers were reportedly conveying passengers on a one-way route from Costain to Ijora Olopa in commercial buses, when they were accosted by the traffic officers.
The officers reportedly ordered them to turn back, which started an argument.
The drivers were said to have pounced on the officers and beaten them up.
The LASTMA spokesperson, Taofeek Adebayo, who confirmed the incident, said one of the military officers was apprehended.
He said, “Two commercial buses fully loaded with passengers were driving one-way from Costain to Ijora Olopa and they were challenged by a policeman and a LASTMA officer, who asked them why there were plying one-way.
“After several pleas to turn back, the two commercial drivers, who were putting on army camouflage, descended on the two officers and started beating them. It took the intervention of a team of policemen from Ijora to rescue the officials.
“In the course of the operation, one of those drivers ran away with his vehicle, while the second driver was apprehended and his vehicle impounded in our office. The injured officers were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta. The policeman’s hand was severed with a jackknife; the LASTMA officer was injured on his cheek. The military officer has been detained at the Lagos State Police Command.”
According to Adebayo, no one is above the law.
“So, I see no reason why anyone should contravene the law. Our officers are the ones bearing the brunt. We are appealing to members of the public to desist from plying one-way and respect the law,” he added.
A police source said a policeman was abducted by one of the military officers.
The source said, “The military men, while confronting the officers, sighted and beckoned on their colleagues who were on a different bus and those ones joined them in assaulting the policemen. Some policemen, who came to the scene, were also attacked.
“The soldiers abducted a policeman. We had to radio the patrol team in front to quickly block the road and we rescued the policeman. But all the soldiers succeeded in running away. One of them who drove the commercial vehicle was arrested and his vehicle impounded.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, also confirmed the incident.
He said, “One policeman and a LASTMA officer were injured during the incident. They are currently receiving treatment.”