Tony Osauzo, Benin
An alleged assault on a staff of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) by the lawmaker representing Orhionmwon South constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Roland Asoro, has elicited public condemnation in Benin City, with staff of the agency threatening a showdown with their Managing Director, Mr. Dennis Oloriegbe.
The lawmaker had reportedly stormed EDSTMA office and beat up a staff, Osaretin Osazuwa, who was said to have arrested his wife for violating traffic offence in the presence of the Managing Director of the traffic agency, who stood helpless as the lawmaker assaulted the staff and later drove the apprehended vehicle away without any fine.
A viral video showed the lawmaker’s wife being apprehended by traffic officers but she refused to step out of the car, causing heavy vehicular traffic in the process.
The woman who was said to have made a call to her husband, was said to have given the phone to the traffic officers at the scene but they refused to answer the call and in the midst of the argument, she reportedly drove off with the traffic officer, Osaretin Osazuwa.
Angered by the audacity the EDSTMA staff in arresting his wife, the lawmaker was said to have stormed their office, where he demanded to see the officer that apprehended his wife for violating traffic rules.
A source who said they were stunned at Hon. Asoro action, disclosed that following his request, Osazuwa stepped out and in the presence of their boss, the lawmaker slapped him twice and kicked him in the groin, adding that the statement of their boss that he did not want to annoy anybody in power, made all of them angry.
“We would have descended on Asoro and dealt with him and his wife. What he did was beastly. This is not the first time his wife will be violating traffic rules. We used to leave her but on that day our boys said it was enough of her.
“He gave the guy two slaps and kicked him. He came with a policeman and two other guys. He beat the boy in the presence of our MD and tore his uniform. His wife bite the boy in the hand and face,” the source said even as another staff disclosed that they had resolved to protest against the MD for not protecting one of them.
Meanwhile, in reaction to the incident, members of the Edo State Civil Society Organisation (EDOSCO) have demanded the arrest and prosecution of the lawmaker and his wife.
Spokesman for the group, Osaze Edigin, said the spouse of Asoro was not a government official to be driving a vehicle with a government official number plate affixed to it.
He said the body handed a 48-hour ultimatum to the MD of EDSTMA, to publicly show to Edo people, receipt of payment into government coffers by the offender or they would begin resistance of further arrest of Edo people who violate traffic rules by officials of EDSTMA.
“Nobody is above the law; more so, this is coming from the wife of a lawmaker.
“We want to sound it loud and clear to the MD of EDSTMA that if he fails to fine and prosecute the duo that broke the traffic law and assaulted the agency’s official, he should resign from that position as Edo Civil Society Organisations will be approaching the court to compel the agency to enforce the enabling law.
”Citizens are being taken to EDSTMA offices helplessly and made to pay fines when they flout traffic laws and regulations, we see no reason the wife of a lawmaker whose husband made same law should be allowed to disobey the law and being aided by her husband with impunity”, Edigin said.
Efforts to get Hon. Roland Asoro to react to the allegation against him failed, as he would neither take calls put to his mobile phone, nor respond to an SMS sent to him, just as the mobile telephone number of EDSTMA MD, Mr. Oloriegbe, was switched off when our correspondent called his line.