Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
The Edo State transpprt commissioner, Orobosa Omo-Ojo, has ordered the suspension of an official of the state traffic management agency, for demanding and accepting N15, 000 bribe from a traffic offender.
Omo-Ojo who disclosed this in Benin while addressing officials of the agency during the weekly drill at the ministry’s headquarters, said the measure became imperative after several complaints and was taken to serve as warning to other officials of the against extortion of motorists.
“Right now, I have just ordered the suspension of one officer for taking a bribe of N15,000 from an offending motorist who drove against traffic, I am warning other officers to desist from such act,” he said.
The commissioner added that search is still ongoing for the bribe giving motorist and that when found he would be arrested and prosecuted for traffic violation and for bribing a government official.
Omo-Ojo who later led a team of officials from the agency on road traffic monitoring, impounded about 40 commercial vehicles yet to comply with the state government’s directive to paint their vehicles with the approved colour code.
“We have been sensitizing the public and concerned transport unions on government order on the uniform colour code for buses and taxis, and government gave a deadline of December 31, 2013. Yet as of today, you can still see defaulters which account for the reason for these impounded vehicles,” he said.
Owners of the impounded vehicles will pay a fine ranging from N40,000 for taxis to N60, 000 for buses to cover painting and administrative handling charges.
The commissioner explained that the decision to maintain a uniform colour for commercial vehicles was reached by the state government as part of measures to curb incidents of robbery attacks and other vices carried out with unpainted vehicles.
“With the colour code and the zone’s number code boldly written on the body of the vehicle, security operatives and the public can easily identify any offending commercial vehicle,” he added.
He said about 330 bus stops have been approved for use by all motorists, just as 330 sign posts will be installed at approved bus stops within Benin metropolis.
He appealed to car owners and motorists to ensure that they stop and drop off passengers only at these designated bus stops as officials of the state traffic agency have been given orders to apprehend anyone who breaches traffic rules.