Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Roads that lead to jail in Lagos

A report in The Guardian says the controversial new traffic bill prescribing 3 years jail term for one-way traffic violators will be signed into law tomorrow by Gov Fashola. Trying to be my brother’s keeper, I would like to share with you some roads in Lagos that can take you directly to jail as from Friday.
Since a new Shopping Mall accommodating Shoprite was launched in Alausa, Ikeja, the road that passes directly behind it is now a one-way street. Policemen have been feeding fat on people who had used that road for ages and are unaware of this new development. When the bill becomes law, heading in the wrong direction on the road will send you to jail for three years.

To new motorists or those visiting Lagos, Somolu is filled with booby-traps that can send you to jail. One-way streets there are numerous. But the ones that quickly come to mind include Oyebajo Street. If you're coming from Morocco Road, going to Ikorodu Road, Oyebajo Street is to the right. With no visible signs, this street is a one-way ticket to jail.

Again, when coming from Ikorodu Road, heading to Igbobi College, there is another one-way traffic street by Fadeyi Bus Stop via Kalejaiye Street. It is the right turning before the National Orthopaedic hospital. LASTMA guys will usually not stay at the entry point to warn you, but in the middle to apprehend you. You will regain your freedom in three years!

Then the popular bridge linking Dopemu to Egbeda is one-way traffic at a designated time of each day. From 5am to 1159am you can cross from Dopemu side to the Egbeda side and vice versa without any trouble. But by noon if you cross from Egbeda side to Dopemu, LASTMA and the police will be waiting for you with a Black Maria. Kiss your freedom goodbye.
On the Yaba/Akoka axis, there are a few booby-traps, apart from the clear one-way traffic roads with concrete medians. The one that leaps to mind now is the major road from University Junction that leads directly to UNILAG Gate. This road is 95 percent two-way traffic. But there is a 5 percent one-way traffic, where you have to detour inside the community and burst out a little further down the road. There is an old, faded ‘No Entry’ sign, to warn motorists, but many first timers miss it. They are joking with three years jail term.  

The service lane at Osodi coming from Mile Two is presumably two-way traffic up to a little after NAFDAC. The road forks into two, the right links CAPPA/Mushin, while the left links Osodi Oke. Motorists who want to drop passengers at Osodi, but are too law-abiding to do it on the Expressway, usually enter the service lane, drop their passengers, drive past NAFDAC and at the fork, bear left to link Osodi Oke, onward to Oworonsoki or Maryland, as the case maybe. But any day some LASTMA officials are broke, they usually stay on top of Osodi Oke bridge and  monitor those climbing the bridge at the fork. They then pounce on them, accusing them of one-way traffic violation. If you are unlucky to pass that route on one of such days, you will be writing a prison memoir soon, or you offer to pay for the school fees of the children of the ‘hardworking’ LASTMA guys who apprehend you.  Which would it be?

Then, from the past few months, motorists coming from Toll Gate by 7 Up, and attempting to link Oregun  can no longer drive straight into Ikosi Road by Union Bank. Entry has been barred even though there is no single sign to that effect yet. In lieu of that, there are traffic cones placed there to guide motorists. In all fairness, there are sometimes some honest LASTMA guys at the intersection to guide confused motorists how they can access Ikosi via Unilever. But often times, on duty are the crooked ones who see an opportunity to make money. When a LAWMA truck or other government vehicles exempted from traffic laws blow these cones away, motorists coming afterwards inadvertently drive into Ikosi at the intersection and are slammed by LASTMA and gun-toting policemen. You are in serious trouble.

There are many more, I’m sure. If there are some roads you know that are not included, be your brothers’ keeper and share. Wish you a jail-free motoring.


Anonymous said...

Add Ikoyi Club Road: it was a two-way street until NNPC took over the petrol station at the Club Road/Kingsway Road junction. Now you can only access from First Avenue. If you enter from Kingsway LASTMA will grab you

Anonymous said...

Great post. Law school to Ynot road is one way too. It was 2-way before, but it was changed and restricted to one way following an upsurge of vehicles attracted by the big companies on that road such as Twin Towers. Of course, it has been food for LASTMA and police

Anonymous said...

thanks for this information,if Fashola and LASTMA will be honest,they need to place visible road signs/warnings on these one-way traffic routes

John Awe Online said...

Reactions to the post on The Punch newspaper's online platform...

MutajAugust 3, 2012 at 2:33 am

Mr. John Awe. Thank you for the information. If you are thinking of visiting Lagos with your car from other states, it is better to go in public transport to save you the embarassment, mind you the law is an axe. No ignorance in law. ‘Se et gbo’

TemiladeAugust 3, 2012 at 11:34 am
How can they make the punishment so draconian when they have not done the first thing as far as labelling the roads are concerned? It does not make sense to drive honest people to jail for committing mistakes on the roads. Just imagine the roads that change status at different times of the day!

DreamerAugust 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm
There are many ‘one-way traffic’ roads on Lagos island that are not labelled at all! in fact, most of the roads on Lagos island are one-way, with no signs to show, I wonder how they expect unfamiliar drivers to magically know!! God save us from this draconian law!!

NathanielAugust 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Yaba is worst

Ukairo StevenAugust 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm
I wonder d horrible state of @which lagos wld b, 4 goodness sake, let us first think about d confusion and crises these laws wld bring b4 implementing them. No road signs! Instructions directions and so on and u won’t d people 2 keep 2 d law, oh no dis is insanity, dis wld only couse confusion, riotings, and crises, just watch out what happens after dis laws are been implemented.

AdeolaAugust 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Good as Fashola’s intention may appear, he often jumps d gun by signin laws b4 takin steps 2 forestal breakin it. He shud av made apropriate plans first like makin signs where necesary, soon our prison wil get congested as a result of dis law, unfortunately for both state and people, it is LASTMA officials and Police that’l reap from it. It is “jeun sapo” time for them. So I sugest govt should urgently make signs to help d people, we r law-abidin but what happens if u run into a trap?

John Awe Online said...

More reactions in The Punch

...AdeyemiAugust 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

More worrisome is the law enforcement agents who don’t stay at points where they are able to prevent citizens from erring but instead lay ambush somewhere in the middle of the road….( if the police could be that brilliant rather they blow sirens to announce their arrival at robbery scenes). To show further how barbaric some people are they will be given target number of culprits/money to apprehend/collect.

ayodeji abionaAugust 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm
it is very unfair from lagos state govt that someone can go to jail for passing one way without any sign that can warn them not to pass that road,if lagos state govt what to do it right let create awareness for the people that this road are not allow to be pass.i wonder why they just make laws as if is melt for animals,if they have the intrest of the masses at heart they would not make laws as if we are animals.

oladipo adebowaleAugust 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm
Thank u very much, Mr John Awe. I live in Abuja, having stayed in Lagos for 17 years up to 1996. I ve resolved not to drive to Lagos again because of the crude operations of LASTMA. About 6 years ago, I was apprehended in front of National Theatre for taking one way while coming from Apapa. There was no sign to indicate that the road was a one-way, which I told the LASTMA ooficials or do I call them thieves, but they didnt listen. They took me to their yard in Ebute- Metta. Anyway, I had to part with N7,500.00 with a fake receipt! Governor Fashola is doing a good work in Lagos generally, but three years jail term is too long for a traffic offence. As a lawyer, he should know better than us that the law is supposed to correct us and not to kill the people he is ruling over. The punishment time should have been 6 months to one year. Nobody wants to go to prison, even for one day, esp Lagosians. Again, the roads should be properly marked and signboards for one way and two way placed in open and strategic places like we have in civilised societies, but not under a heavily shaded Tree or in a hidden place so that the so called LASTMA will be using it to be making illegal and blood money. Other modes of transportation should also be developed, like water transportation since Lagos is surrounded by the Lagoon at Oworo, Apapa, VI, Ikoyi, Lekki, and so many other places.

NathanielAugust 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm
Why should a driver take one-way, this should be addressed by the government, do you know that because of one offence, a lastma official can allow a traffic jam of about 500m building he does not care. I think Gov Fashola is empowering these touts called Lastma officials, go and see them in action, little thing that is pardonable will not be pardon. Please lets do the roads and put a clearly sign of no entry and direction on our roads.

Oloye GbasaAugust 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm
The efficacy of d law is not in the weight of punishment but the possibility of its enforcement to the letter. D new law provides an avenue for d corrupt law enforcement agents to fill their pockets if our historical antecedent is put into consideration.
An individual is likely to cough out any amount of money as bribe he knows there is a 3 yr jail sentence hanging over his head.

Oloye GbasaAugust 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm

The efficacy of d law is not in the weight of punishment but the possibility of its enforcement to the letter. D new law provides an avenue for d corrupt law enforcement agents to fill their pockets if our historical antecedent is put into consideration.
An individual is likely to cough out any amount of money as bribe when he knows there is a 3 yr jail sentence hanging over his head.

John Awe Online said...

And more perspectives....

Arowolo InnocentAugust 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm
Laws like this should be made for animals not human being.

niyi abeAugust 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm
sometime our politicians make laws as if the citizens are animals. why would fashola stipulates three years for one way when evebody knows that majority of people thta pass one way do so mistakenly. he is just making lagos more unbearable. i believ he has shared all the money with his thief-master, bola tinubu. he wnats lagosian to be paying ridulous fine in lue of prison term. making this law a strict liability offence is noty wise at all. i hope these ACN people in lagos will not start what they cannot finish

niyi abeAugust 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm
sometime our politicians make laws as if the citizens are animals. why would fashola stipulate three years for one way when everybody knows that majority of people that take one way do so mistakenly. he is just making lagos more unbearable. i believ he has shared all the money with his thief-master, bola tinubu. he wnats lagosian to be paying ridulous fine in lue of prison term. making this law a strict liability offence is noty wise at all. i hope these ACN people in lagos will not start what they cannot finish

Adebayo OlorunwaAugust 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm
why are they doing all this without any sign, it means. They want money by all means and it is unfair. Thanks for your information.

Gbenga AdunmoAugust 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm
I wonder what Lagos is Turning to, this second time “Na wa o”

Kayode AdedejiAugust 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm
As I much as I appreciate Gov. Fashola’s transformation agenda on transportation in Lagos State, I want to state that therez urgent need of road sign, warning motorist about one-way, lastma’s job is to control traffic so they should always stand @ d beginning of those one-way road & not d middle or end of d road. This law should have human face, this is democracy, let’s practice the way it suppose be coz posterity will judge. Eko o ni baje ooo

John Awe Online said...

More perspectives...

OchukodegreatAugust 3, 2012 at 4:15 pm
If Govt has been living up to expectation, why ‘ll citizens show disrespect to law and order? If a traffic offender is to spend 3 yrs behind the bar, what about corrupt politicians? Dire.

sholaAugust 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Fashola is fake,Tinubu is a glutton and ACN stinks.

LUMIFRIZZLEAugust 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm

shola August 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm: CORRECT STATEMENT, I LIKE FASHOLA AS A PERSON, but i hate the shame his Party and God father has brought to the state…they have so empowered TOUT, destroyed and intimidated young citizen…Now they r creating another CHOP CHOP avenue for the toutish department of our law enforcers(LASTMA) and Police. GOD HELP US. it’s not measurable….3 years for passing one-way!!!….even if it was deliberate.

Engr Emmanuel OnohAugust 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm
One basic fact about passing laws like this is that adequate awareness were not given to the public on this law.The government can do better by putting visible signages on these road to make it easily identifiable.

Agboola SheriffAugust 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm
Why should someone that knows so much (about Law) abuse. This is too much! Is it another way to enrich the pockets of these so called law enforcers? OR to reduce the population of Lagos? This is unfair, its actually going to be a ‘law that will promote injustice’. May God save us from the hands of oppressors, our so called leaders. THE Lagos state house of assembly should speak for the masses. E ko o ni baje o!

BukyAugust 4, 2012 at 12:57 am
I am highly disappointed in Fashola’s Administration, Our politicians are behaving like a fool and I wonder if he has Personal Adviser.. 3 yrs Jail terms for just a mistake that can be corrected. Anyway have lost my confidence in him even in Democracy since the Man who promised us fresh Air has done the worse..

AlexAugust 4, 2012 at 4:11 am
This just highlights one shortcoming of our law-making. It shows that our lawmakers, even though some are trying, do not think comprehensively enough. Part of that law should have dealt with road signs, as it pertains to the issue(s) at hand. But come to think of it, how long can it be to erect the appropriate road signs on these “one-way” roads? Let us keep up the outcry and I am sure this will be done. However, the law stays.

JJAugust 4, 2012 at 8:04 am
Lagos state goverment should do the needful, put up DIRECTIONS that can re-direct motorist from following one way. Where such provisions are not made, the Lagos state goverment should be SUED period !!

NosaAugust 4, 2012 at 8:44 am
Great piece here. But point of correction: the prohibition of traffic from Egbeda end to Dopemu via the bridge is from 3pm daily, not 12noon.

Okonkwo Emmanuel said...

HELLO sir/madam,
i got all this law information through nigeria sit ,any way i am from nigeria but i am not living in nigeria ,my question is this ,what of people who are not living in nigeria ?just like if came to back nigeria as my country land and if i dont know all the law and drive my motor by mistakely ,what will be my offence?because nigeria road dont have all those driviing marp direction,but in abraod where am living has it , i hope my message will be deliever to the chief of the law and reply me
based in china my email

Baba Hamido Phd said...

Please keep this up and let us pray that it will bring sanity on Lagos road.

Oduola Abiola said...

It is certainly a right step in the right direction by Governor Fashola. However one wonders why certain vehicles are exempted as this could actually confuse other road users especially on Nigerian roads known for their lack of appropriate and adequate road signs.
In addition one hopes that Governor Fashola as a lawyer indeed a SAN will ensure that the streets concerned are well sign posted. Otherwise he will be promoting curruption among the already corrupt law enforcement agents and/or miscarriages of justice by sending ‘innocent’ people to jail with this rather punitive measure.

Mr Lawrence Afolabi said...

This law is making a mockery of our mode of governance. This is not how it is done in developed world that I believe our leaders visits. Roads in other nations are clearly marked and directions well spelt out.

Agreed ours is a lawless nation.There should be a way to protect the the first time drivers in Lagos who obviously will miss out roads on which their directions are not labelled or probably may have fallen off.

bolaisaac1 said...

In as much as we know that we need to obey the law of the traffic in the state,it is pertinent to let the state govt to know to do the right thing.In all the areas our writer indicated in his write-up,if you go and check all those streets or roads,there will be NO VISSIBLE SIGN OF ONE_WAY IN THOSE ROADS OR STREETs.And this is where our wicked LASTMA or POLICE or ANY LAW enforcement agents will stand to rip-off those who mistakenly enter that roads.VISSIBLE SIGN must be put at the entrance of that roads.That is how they are doing it in western world.

Leo Nwabueze said...

When will Lagos ever change? Even in Europe, there are clear signs for people to follow. Only those that disobey pays for it. But Lagos? No. They prefer to remove any signs in order to make money from innocent road users. Curse on them

Oh Goodness said...

The Governor’s idea is good but they (the govt. Of Lagos) make the roads motorable first befor all these laws else, the law enforcement agents will use that opportunity to make more money.

King Raph said...

Living or coming 2 Lagos is being made difficult; perhaps, d idea behind this is 2 reduce d population n discourage pple from coming to stay. Whatever is the reason I think it’s unfair. Before u can arrest a roaduser for breaking traffic laws there shuld b adequate n obvious traffic signs that prove dat d defaulter is really guilty.

Robert Akinwale said...

It is agood idea to bring sanity to our roads, However I feel the Govenor needs to ensure that No Entry sign is clear for everyone to see ( not a hand painted fading sign) also signs indicating no left or right turn. Also the punishment for contravening the One way is way too harsh and will only go to increasing the money corrupt officials will demand from unfortunate motorist who have made a mistake from lack or awareness or worst still be lead down the wrong road by exploiters.

Okafor Onyema said...

Clear signs not faded signs should be made and put in place so that visitors or first timers will not make mistake and fall a victim.

Obinna E. 0 said...

Good law in making at wrong hour or time but u should know that most roads in lagos has no road sign ,l think more home should be build to acumodate defalters . Unless sign is in place.

len_gibs said...

Where there are no Visible signs then I think they will have a job to enforce such law but 3 years Jail is way too harsh unless you cause a Death of Pedestrian or Motorist

Anonymous said...

How much sense does this law make? So if you are visiting Nigeria after living abroad for years and you mistakenly violate traffic rules, you have automatically earned yourself THREE YEARS IN JAIL? Is this an abuse of executive powers or what? Is this really the best way of solving traffic problems, STRAIGHT TO JAIL CARDS? What kind of human beings do we have making laws in this country?

Eric, UK said...

Pls we need the law in every city in Nigeria. Kola is driving in opposite direction/against traffic be encouraged or what are you insinuating? If they did not make law, we will say no law in this country. Why are we like this? Could you because you are stranger in abroad, even in Benin Republic nearer to us here drive through one way? The law should be emulated by other state Houses of Assembly. (Prowling Eagle)

Anonymous said...

I thank God for this forum, some of us who visit Lagos once every month would have been rubbished by your LAGOS traffic laws.I agree that there should be sanity on our roads but we should not pass or enact laws that will tag every traffic mistake a crime.I believe punishment must be equal to crime.We do not need any draconian law that would put everybody in jail to serve as deterrent to other road users before we can have sanity on our roads.When Gen.Buhari and Lt.Gen Idi agbon were in government they introduced WAI and everybody keyed in ,not only in urban centers but also in rural areas.Nobody was sent to jail for traffic offence before the massive compliance by the populace.The nation is complaining about the congestion in our prisons and you want to make laws that will even put innocent man in jail.BRF should not do something or pass a law that will affect his popularity and that of his party.IF ANY LAW SHOULD BE ENACTED THE PAUSE OF THE PEOPLE MUST BE GAUGED.ENOUGH SIGN POSTS MUST BE ERECTED AT EVERY SO CALLED ONE WAY OR WRONG WAY.THERE MUST BE A PERIOD OF GRACE TO ALLOW FOR SMOOTH CHANGE OF PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR.