A driver assistant popularly called motor boy was crushed to death in the early hours of Wednesday on the Total marine bridge along Apapa port access road as police officers who are assigned to control traffic on the bridge attempt to collect N500 bribe from a truck driver.
The incident, it was gathered, happened when the policemen attached to the Area B police command stopped the truck driver and his motor boy and demanded for a bribe of N500 which the truck driver refused.
The refusal of the truck driver to part with the N500 it was learnt led to serious beating of the driver by the police officers.
According to eyewitness accounts, the motor boy who had come out of the truck to plead was also beaten by the policemen and in an attempt to escape from the officers fell under the truck while the driver was already in motion, and he was crushed to death immediately.
Secretary General of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) Sanni Bala, who confirmed the incident during a meeting with the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) in Lagos on Wednesday, decried the multiple extortion experienced in the hands of those he described as maritime bandits along the port corridor.
He said those in the trucking business in the country are suffering and going through a lot in the hands of security agencies and area boys.
Bala, who although acknowledged efforts of the Port Standing Task Team to sanitize the port corridor however noted that more needs to be done by the task team to rid the port corridor of extortion and other corrupt practices by security agencies and area boys who he said are now operating freely inbound the Apapa port access roads.
Speaking on the incident, he said, “This morning between 12.00 and 1: 00am, a driver was trying to access the port corridor but was stopped by policemen that he must give them N500. He told them he does not have N500, and they started beating him and the motor boy. The motor boy in trying to escape from the police beating fell under the truck and he was crushed to death.
“Most of the extortion checkpoints PSTT has cleared so far, the extortion bandits both uniformed and non-uniformed men, have technically crossed to the inbound section of the port access road and their activities are constituting serious problems to trucking business. The truckers are bleeding from the activities of these extortion bandits on the inbound section of the port access road
“In order to overcome this problem of extortion, operations of PSTT must be reviewed to take care of the inbound section of the port access road.
“Uniform and non-uniformed men have migrated into the inbound section of the road and their activities are constituting serious problems to trucking business.”