Oct 10, 2011 – The management of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) has sacked 222 of its personnel for corrupt practices and misconduct.
Its Chairman Mr Young Arebamen told our correspondent that the sack affects all cadres of the workforce.
Arebamen disclosed that 156 were dismissed while 66 had their appointments terminated. Of those dismissed, 129 were junior officers (level 06 and below). The remaining 29 were on level 07 and above.
He said the appointments of 55 junior staff were terminated while 11 senior officers were also kicked out in this category.
LASTMA boss said the affected officers were given opportunity to defend themselves before final decisions were taken.
He said: “When we receive complaints from members of the public, the Provost department will investigate. The complainant is also given the opportunity to explain his allegation.
“If the allegation is true, the internal rules and regulations will be visited on the official. It depends on the gravity of the offence. If it is a very serious allegation of misconduct, the official may have to pass through a process of trial. At the end of the day, he could be dismissed, be reduced in rank, be reprimanded or receive verbal or written warning.
“Apart from those that were sacked, there are those who had their promotion deferred, probation extended or their rank reduced. We want the public to know that LASTMA officers are not above the law. The internal working system controls the conduct of our men and women”.
To minimise corrupt practices, Arebamen said: “We have evolved a system that no LASTMA official operates with cash. The traffic offenders pay the fines to designated banks. All we need is evidence of payment before we can release the vehicle.”
According to him, the number of days we hold the vehicle depends on the owner. After 24 hours, he pays demurrage. It is advisable that the offender pays his fine as soon as he can to avoid excess demurrage.
On the Federal High Court judgment barring LASTMA from imposing fines on traffic offenders, Arebamen said “the governor and the Attorney General have said we are going to appeal the judgment. Nothing has changed that position.”
He explained:“I wish to say that the law that established LASTMA passed through a process. If the society is not regulated by law, then we are heading for a state of anarchy. If the actions of the road users are not regulated, we are creating a state of anarchy and we don’t want that in Lagos.
“We are yet to get to the end of the case. The judgment is a test case for the development of Nigerian law. The case may even go to the Supreme Court. At the end of the day, we will know who is on the side of the law. But we are sure we are on the side of the law”, he added. (The Nation)