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Crushing of impounded motorcycles aligns with legal provisions – FCTA



Crushed motorcycles

The Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has clarified that the crushing of impounded commercial motorcycles, commonly known as “Okada”, aligns with legal provisions.

This declaration was made by Mrs Deborah Osho, the Head of Operations, DRTS, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

Recall that on August 31, the Joint Task Force Team of the FCTA impounded and crushed 400 commercial motorcycles for illegal operations in Abuja.

According to the Commissioner of Police, FCTA Command, Garba Haruna, the crushing of impounded motorcycles in the federal capital territory was by the law that bans commercial motorcycle operations in the city. Similar enforcement efforts have been undertaken in the past to uphold the ban.

The law that empowers the ban on commercial motorcycle operations in FCT

The Federal Capital Territory Road Transport Regulation, 2005, stipulates designated areas for Okada riders, with the city centre, encompassing districts like Wuse, Central Business District, Three Arms Zone, Maitama, Asokoro, Utako, Wuye, Garki, Diplomatic Zone, Mabushi, Katampe, Gwarinpa, and Gudu, being off-limits since October 1, 2006.

The regulation, however, did not restrict commercial motorcycles from operating in other areas of the FCT, such as Gwagwalada, Bwari, and Nyanya, among other suburbs of the FCT.

The provisions of the Federal Capital Territory Road Transport Regulation, 2005, provided two grounds for crushing impounded motorcycles: when they pose threats or when there’s a Court forfeiture Order against them.

The ban was implemented due to public concerns about Okada operators causing problems in the city, including being involved in criminal activities, accidents, and kidnappings.

News Agency of Nigeria reported that the FCTA informed riders about the ban’s consequences even before its enforcement in 2006.

Mr. Peter Olumuji, the Secretary of Command and Control of the FCTA Enforcement Task Force explained that crushing impounded motorcycles strengthens the ban’s enforcement.

Initially, impounded motorcycles led to fines of N2,000 or N3,000, but the ban was later amended to include forfeiture to the FCTA, addressing issues of alleged corruption and economic losses.

In his words,

  • “This means that once an okada is impounded, it becomes the property of the FCTA.
  • “While this appeared to solve the problem, it also came with a challenge, following allegations that officials of DRTS collect bribes and release the motorcycles to the owners.
  • “It was to address this problem that security agencies and the enforcement taskforce opted for crushing of impounded okada.
  • “This did not only solve the problem of alleged corruption in the seizures but also the question of economic losses.”

After the impounded commercial motorcycles were crushed, Mr Olumiji explained that they would be sold to recycling companies, with the proceeds being placed in a government-held account.

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