New Lagos Traffic Law's first culprit: Bullion van driver

Officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has impounded a bullion van and arrested its driver in Apapa area of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, for driving against traffic.

The bullion van driver, Seun Odukoya, faces one year jail term without an option of fine as a first offender for flouting the new Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012 while the bullion van will be forfeited to the state government.

The new traffic law says that any bullion van driver who drove against the flow of traffic on conviction by the court will be jailed for one year as a first offender and three years as subsequent offender without an option of fine while the van will be seized by the state government.

The bullion van was arrested on Creek Road, Apapa while conveying money to a new generation bank in the area.

Officials of the warehouse had to come with another van to transfer the money from the impounded van to the new generation bank.

The arrested driver, the first casualty of the new traffic law, and the van with the money were taken to the Taskforce office in Alausa while the driver will be arraigned in court.

The driver of the bullion van, in a statement he made to the police, admitted that he drove against traffic on Creek Road, saying “I actually drove against traffic” and that he did it because the road was blocked.

When contacted, Taskforce Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman told P.M News that the new traffic law would be used to prosecute the driver in the court and that this would serve as deterrent to others who might want to toe the same line.

He said this was not the first time a bullion van had been arrested by the taskforce for driving against the traffic, saying that drivers of bullion vans belonging to the Banker’s Warehouse usually drive against traffic.

“We are telling other bullion van drivers to obey the law of the land. The law is not punitive but a corrective measure. The court will decide the fate of the driver,” he stated.

On whether pressure from the owner of the van would make the taskforce to release the vehicle, Sulaiman said it was not possible as it was only the court that could decide that.