1. Who is LASTMA?
LASTMA stands for Lagos State Traffic Management, which is designed to protect law-abiding road users and also, ensure 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.
As a Lagosian, it is best to know what your rights are in order to save yourself from trouble when necessary. This articles carefully explains the powers of LASTMA officials and how you can file a complaint against an overly intimidating one.
LASTMA is powered to arrest but not to detain people
2. LASTMA website, address & contacts
To reach LASTMA or update latest news about this 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
3. Are LASTMA officials empowered to arrest?
Just like other law enforcement agents, LASTMA officials have been empowered to arrest suspected individuals who commit a road offense. While they have the power to do so, you can also take necessary steps to avoid the arrest. It's 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: LASTMA officials are not empowered to detain any individual, they can only arrest. So if 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)
In Section 35 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, there's a Right to Personal Liberty guaranteed; any powers of arrest exercised by LASTMA official s 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. Oweing to the fact that your right to personal liberty should not be trampled upon, if you believe you’ve been cheated in one way or another, and would like to seek a redress, kindly contact a trusted legal practictioner.
>>> Along with LASTMA is FRSC and VIO. Check Full meaning of FRSC, function of FRSC and VIO!
4. Can LASTMA 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 effected 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 idividual about the test that will be conducted .
- Just in case the indidual 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 hasn’t done right by you, contact your lawyer or better still, file a report.
>>> Do you know the meaning of all letters and numbers on your number plate? Check how to Decode Nigeria plate number abbreviation!
5. How to file a complaint against a LASTMA official?
If you’re 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 aren’t 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.
>>> Here are some guidelines related you may refer to:
- Comprehensive list of driver license offices in Lagos with addresses
- Everything you need to know about Federal Road Safety Corps GIFMIS code
- How to handle confrontations with a FRSC official
- Lagos state vehicle registration & plate number verification
>>> Visit Naijauto Safe driving tips for more useful information!