LASTMA is an acronym that stands for Lagos State Traffic Management, which is designed to protect law-abiding road users and make sure that those who disregard any of its stipulations are made to face the consequences of their action. This way, everyone can become responsible with time. While the commission has the power to exercise certain responsibilities on motorists, it is not designed to empower the officials to harass, intimidate, exploit or make a lawbreaker out of any Lagos resident/stakeholder through the demanding of bribes or other crooked demands.
If you are going to be staying in Lagos, it is best to know what your rights are in order to save yourself from trouble when necessary.
In order to reach LASTMA or get an update on the latest news about the department, you can visit their official website or contact them via these methods:
- LASTMA official website: https://lastma.lagosstate.gov.ng/
- LASTMA head office address: LSTC building, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ilupeju-Oshodi, Lagos
- LASTMA phone number: 01-4703325, or 01-7743026
- LASTMA email: email@example.com
Powers Of LASTMA
- Are They Empowered To Arrest?
Just like other law enforcement agents, LASTMA officials have been empowered to arrest suspected individuals who commit a road offence. While they have the power to do so, you can also take the necessary steps to avoid the arrest. It is either you take full responsibility and pay the summary fine, or you can challenge the accusation and request for a trial by a competent court.
Note that LASTMA officials are not empowered to detain any individual, they can only arrest. So if by chance, you get arrested by one, and the charge seems unreasonable, the official must do one of the following:
- Take you to a police station to be detained while you await the court session
- Immediately present you before a trusted court (probably a Traffic Court or Special Offences court)
According to Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, there is a Right to Personal Liberty guaranteed; any powers of arrest exercised by LASTMA officials are subject to this law. Specifically, it concerns the right of any individual to a legal practitioner, as well as the right to be presented before a court within a reasonable period. Owing to the fact that your right to personal liberty should not be trampled upon, if you believe you have been cheated in one way or another, and would like to seek redress, kindly contact a trusted legal practitioner.
- Are They Allowed To Conduct Tests For Intoxication?
LASTMA officials can carry out tests for blood, breath, urine as well as the alcohol level of a driver. Currently, LASTMA officials have not been exercising this power as there are no laws that have affected the use of breath testing equipment by LASTMA. Notwithstanding, if they had to follow approved international standards, they have to take the following steps:
- Confine the individual in question.
- Inform the individual about the test that will be conducted .
- Just in case the individual objects to the test, the LASTMA official can obtain a court order or warrant in order to conduct the test through force.
- In a case of no objection, the LASTMA official would delegate a qualified medical practitioner to conduct the necessary test(s).
- As soon as the test results are out, the LASTMA official will inform the individual about the confirmation of alcohol or will release the individual if found innocent.
Be aware that the conduction of this test – obtaining of blood, breath, and urine samples, encroaches on your Fundamental Human Rights, so if you believe a LASTMA official has not done right by you, contact your lawyer or better still, file a report.
How Do You File A Complaint Against A LASTMA Official?
If you are willing to establish your dissatisfaction regarding the conduct or activities of a LASTMA official during the exercise of his/her functions, these are the steps to follow:
- Take note of the LASTMA official’s name, it is written boldly on their uniform
- Note down the date, time and place of commission of the issue you are complaining about
- Write a covering letter detailing the nature of your complaint and what transpired
- If you have witnesses to the act complained about, have the witness write a statement as well
- Put all your contact information (and those of the witness if any) on the correspondence
- Include any additional information like pictures, videos, or documents to buttress your complaint.
- Send it to LASTMA Command Center, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deliver in person or by post at – Public Relation Unit, LSTC Building, Oshodi Apapa Express Way, Ilupeju, Lagos state.
- Ensure you get confirmation of receipt of your complaint
- If you do not get a response or you receive an unsatisfactory response, you may refer the issue to the Public Complaints Commission by following the process laid out here.
The rules are not that difficult to obey, you can save your time by just doing the needful. At the same time, do not hesitate to report any case of an extorting LASTMA official, your actions will serve as a check and balance for the commission as well.
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