Arise TV journalist apologises as court fines him N70k over traffic offence

Oseni Rufai, Arise Television journalist, has been fined N70,000 for driving through the designated route for bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles in Lagos.

It was reported that Oseni alleged that a police officer, at gunpoint, forcefully took his car over traffic violation.

The Arise TV journalist raised the alarm via a tweet on Twitter, on Monday.

Reacting to Oseni’s comment, Benjamin Hundeyin, Lagos police spokesperson, had said the journalist disobeyed traffic laws and resisted the police.

He said Oseni admitted to committing a traffic offence by passing through the bus rapid transit (BRT) lane, and that his claim that he was misdirected by Google Maps is not tenable.

The incident sparked varied reactions on social media with some Nigerians saying the journalist should be made to face the law while some netizens argued that Oseni was targeted owing to his criticism of the government.

Giving an update on the incident, Hundeyin, in a tweet on Tuesday, disclosed that the journalist was found guilty by the court for violating the Lagos State Transport Law 2018.

The Lagos police spokesperson added that Oseni paid the fine of N70,000 and his vehicle was released to him.

In Lagos, it is a traffic offence for drivers of vehicles that are not BRT to pass through the designated BRT lanes.

“UPDATE: Mr Rufai Oseni was in court earlier today. He was found guilty of contravening Lagos State Transport Law (2018). He was subsequently fined Seventy Thousand Naira Only. He made the payment, after which his vehicle was released to him,” Hundeyin wrote.

Commenting on the incident, Oseni, on Wednesday, during Arise TV’s Morning Show, apologised for what transpired, describing it as “most humbling experience”.

 “As many of you know, in the last two days I have been in the news for the wrong reasons,” the journalist said.

“This has resulted in needless distraction for my friends, family, members of the public and for all my colleagues here on Arise News Channel.

“I would therefore like to apologise to all parties over what transpired during the incident with the police when I was stopped for driving on a bus lane. I cannot and dare not lay claims to knowing it all.

“Lessons have been learnt from this entire episode and this has been a most humbling experience for me.

 “I would also like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who have reached out to me in the last two days for their guidance and counseling.”