The Day I Kidnapped A LASTMA Officer (A True Story)

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Around 2:00 pm today I had just finished eating lunch at Jevinik Restaurant. My plan was to get home and do some writing, watch some EPL, chill… it was that sort of nice day that just made you want to relax. All was good until I got to the Adeola Odeku and Akin Adesola junction.

For those of you not familiar that area, it is a T-junction, sometimes the traffic light works but most times traffic is controlled by LASTMA and Police Officers. Today there were about 5 officials controlling traffic … 2 LASTMA, 2 Yellow Fever and 1 police woman … not sure why so many are needed but that’s for another conversation.

I was behind two cars on Adeola Odeku and both were trafficating to the left to get on Akin Adesola (towards Falomo Bridge) … soon we were beckoned to move by the LASTMA officer … one mid-size officer with Mike Tyson hair-cut. He beckoned for our row to start moving, so the first 2 cars moved and I followed. As I got towards the middle of the junction, he started waving for the traffic to the left to start moving. I was confused because a quarter of my car was already in the middle of the junction. So I stopped in confusion, I looked at the LASTMA guy with a what-the-heck-are-you-doing look … do you want me to move or stay?

So me I did not want any wahala, so I started moving back towards Adeola Odeku. The next thing I know… Mike Tyson teleported to the side of the car shouting “Oga what are you doing!” At this point I was pissed…I was like “What do you mean what am I doing you are the one that does not know how to control traffic.”

The next thing I hear is click…Mike Tyson is in my car (I forgot to lock the doors). Instinctively and I don’t know why …I move my cellphones and valuable items into my pocket…luckily all my cash was already in my pocket. But my laptop bag is on the passenger floor seat. I just have this weird feeling that he would try and steal it.  I don’t know why but that was how I was feeling. I also felt unusually angry. In the past 3 times I have encountered LASTMA it could be argued that we had violated rules even though they were inconspicuous signs or rules. But today I felt particularly annoyed because I was following his directive.

So the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Oga what nonsense why are you entering my car! What rule did I violate abeg I no get money o!” Mike Tyson got pissed! So pissed I thought he was going to bite my right ear off!

“Oga abeg I don’t need your money, because you see me so. You no know sey I get car at home! Abeg let me see your license.” Mike Tyson barked. Before I could even touch my wallet, the guy was like “You should be begging but you are making guy! I will show you, park to the side.”

At this point in my mind was like “f**k this shit!” I pulled out the phone and said I was going to call my people. Then Tyson was like “so you want to call your people.” He brought out his own phone and start dialing. I am not sure he had credit even because he was fake calling someone, he barely pressed any buttons and he was already talking to someone.

Let me remind you that a quarter of my car is already in the middle of the junction o! So at this time horns are blaring all around us, traffic is backing up on Adeola Odeku. Finally police woman comes to my side of the window and says I should park to the side. Me I tell her that I am not parking to any side because I did not do anything wrong. Mike Tyson is still yapping on my side that I should park…park! park!

That’s when I did it.

I moved the gear into drive and hit the accelerator and started driving home. In my mind I knew I had not done anything wrong, this was simply a case of LASTMA officials looking for quick money. I continued driving, the guy was just there confused.

“Where are you taking me to.” he started asking. I was like “I am taking you to my people.” lol…I don’t know where I even got that answer. Once I said “my people” the guys mood changed …maybe he thought my people where ritualists. He started saying Oga you should not do like this…this one that one.

I just kept driving. We had almost reached the bottom of Falomo bridge when the guy was like oya please drop me…lol. The dude was confused. But I was still so angry…anyway I stopped.

Then he started on one long lecture of how he does not like the way I am talking and that if not that he was in a good mood that he would have done something. Me I just replied and told him that what he did is wrong, that everyone of us Nigerians are fighting the same battle and we can’t keep picking on each other. He was just there, finally he opened the door to leave. But just as he was about to step out he stopped.

In my head I was like “OOooooo what’s is this rubbish joor, this guy should leave my car…let me go home.” Then he asked “What is your name?” I said “Okechukwu.” Then he got down and closed the door.

I don’t know how he got back to his station, maybe he walked all the way back or chattered on okada. Me I just continued my journey home. But my main lingering thought was this “why do LASTMA officials feel they have the right to enter people’s cars uninvited?”

I mean it’s a violation of a person’s privacy. But yet it happens every single day in Lagos. Why has a rule not be written to make it a crime. I mean I could be a ritualist or kidnapper … but yet they enter. Not to mention that a person car is their private property. Maybe if we start driving them to Ibadan forest they would stop entering our cars uninvited.

To my lawyers out there, can you answer the question “Does LASTMA or Police have the right to enter a person’s car?”

twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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Ofili

Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
Follow him on Twitter
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38 comments on “The Day I Kidnapped A LASTMA Officer (A True Story)

  1. Hahahaha! That was hilarious! Lord have mercy on those people, the worst part is when they try to seize your car key after entering the car. For all we know, law enforcement officials in Nigeria are ignorant about the fundamental human rights of citizens. Am no lawyer but I think actions such as (entering the car, snatching car keys etc) are forceful acts that should only be applied when a citizen is resisting arrest.

  2. Haha! Nice one. He was lucky you didn’t drive him all the way home.. E for hear am. Prolly he thought you’d beg him and maybe offer to dash him some cash. Smh

  3. LOOOL funniest piece I’ve read in a long while… I really hope its a true story cos dose lastma ppl need lessons to teach dem wat is and is not right… *rme*

    Made my day LOOL

  4. Charlie on said:

    Accordingly, the 1999 constitution (chapter IV) gives every citizen a right to own property. Property in this sense implies moveable and immovable, no matter how insignificant. Thus no one has the right to access or take your property without your permission. In the law of tort, anyone caught in violation of this right will be held liable for trespassing, be you a law enforcement agent or not . If you rightly observe in movies (hollywood), although fiction, it still portrays the respect and high regard for, inter alia, human right to property; cops don’t get into cars, they politely ask you to step out of your car before doing necessary search on you or make arrest in the appropriate manner. Unfortunately, our olopas and/or LASTMA officer don’t recognise this fundamental right, or better still they don’t even know anything about it. I have been in the same situation n the officer hopped into my car in their usual manner. Now even though I clearly broke the law, there’s a due process of arrest n if not strictly adhered to, I can walk free.(note however, that you can be rearrested in the appropriate manner n charged thereafter). My advise, if anyone is caught in a similar situation, don’t argue with them, just make them understand they ‘re violating your fundamental right to property by entering into your car uninvited n as a matter of fact you’re calling the office of the Public Defender, Lagos State (pick up your phone n start faking a call to “your people”). To intensify it, appear to be taking down the officers name pinned on his breast n possibly take photos of him (multiple shots) All these in your false attempt to take up the matter aggressively. That should do the trick!

  5. Nyc one! Lool very annoying people. They neva listen to explanation,they always want to be right and very rude I wonder what kind of training they received. Lagos state govt has given them too much power besides there are too many uniformed men on the road in Lagos: V.I.O, police,LASTMA, road safety etc wetin them they find?

  6. Ofili, dis piece really cracked me up. Lol….but truth is, these LASTMA guys are so ill-maanered and corrupt to the extent dat they seem not to understand the term “first offender”. They throw all forms of caution and decorum to the wind once they’re in those dirty-lookin’ uniforms of theirs. My heart bleeds for dis state and the nation in its entirety ‘cos we’re 3000 years behind in the world of civility or how best can one describe a scenario such as this? May God help us! Once again, more power to ur elbow !!!

  7. Adonia on said:

    u jst had to mention ibadan sha…u cldnt resist the temptation abi?
    anyway dats exactly d kind of stuff I can do…drive d guy 2 a place dat after he gets back to his post…he will be too weak to harass any oda person.
    In front of UI smday, a police guy gets into a lady’s car n immediately she accuses him of stealing 500k from d car. it was rily messy. I haven’t seen dat police guy in front of UI since den. its wrong on all counts anyway to jump into smbdy’s car all in d name of enforcing rules.
    mr ofili, biko kedu ego m?

  8. This post is hilarious , yet it hits home. Most times, these officers play mind games. That’s why the more frightened they sense you to be, the more intimidating they become. If more Nigerians do what you did, all these officers will get a wake up call and start respecting the privacy of others.
    Tenny latest post is Thoughts of a troubled teenagerMy Profile

  9. Was with my friend who was getting his car fixed in Iponri near the Lastma HQ on Thursday. In the 2 hours I was there they brought in 7 cars, the mechanic said “weekend don dey near, they have to reach their target”. Target? government agency? Now I read this and can’t help smiling, they wanted to use you to meet target. As for them having the right to storm into your car, in Naija ordinary citizens are supposed to bear any nonsense.

  10. neker17@yahoo.com on said:

    Kaiiiiiii! Nna idi egwu! In fact, chop knuckle, hug and kiss! The reason I have refused to drive here in Lagos since I left Kaduna is because I could be this crazy. Good one! Serves him right!

  11. I laugh at that LASTMA officer. You could have been a ritualist and driven him off true, but think about it, we hear a lot of news about thieves and such who fake identities as cops, only God knows if ritualists haven’t also adopted this tactic. They’d just enter someone’s car in their fake uniform and order him/her to drive to their “station”.
    Kayode latest post is The Monkey King: The BeginningMy Profile

  12. Hehe! Can’t blame you bro. My father did the same years ago, only it was a Policewoman and from Ikeja to somewhere in Agege. Couldn’t laugh enough.

  13. A friend’s mum drove one to them to the army barracks and when they were about entering the police man begged, got down and ran for his life. Or else he would have gotten the beating of his life. Idiotas

  14. Adebayo on said:

    Just seeing this now, the mere imaginations in my head are cracking me up. Nice one!
    People should beg stop all the begging and bribing and question what they’re being held for!

  15. Tamie on said:

    lol @ Ibadan forest…..you. really just had to add that right? Yeah it’s wrong for them to just jump into people’s cars. TIMARIV is the Ph version of LASTMA over here, but still them no reach.

  16. This cracked me up seriously. My dad did same to a policeman several years ago before the introduction of lastma. It still cracks us up to anytime we remember. By the way, Ibadan forest isn’t a bad idea…Lol. Oh I like your writing style…reader friendly.

  17. baby on said:

    The guy no fear. He doesn’t know that 2015 is around the corner. He should keep jumping into cars. He will find himself inside bush or stream next time.

    How much money can they be hoping to get that they’ll risk their lives?

  18. ik obasi on said:

    ℓ̊ нανє α friend who did exactly ℓɪ̇kε U̶̲̥̅̊, α yeye lastma entered his car around ikeja under bridge, my guy drove off till he got ² iyana oba area he was headed. †нε only way ² get lastma αη∂ police ² stop entering pples car is ² take †нεm on †нε drive ² neverland den dey wud learn.

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