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Court remands motorist over LASTMA personnel’s murder

By Barakat Odegbola

A State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State has ordered that a motorist, Elijah Shokoya, be remanded in custody of the Nigerian correctional service (NCS) facility over alleged murder of personnel of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).

Shokoya, who was arraigned before the court by the Nigerian Police, was said to have knocked down the LASTMA official, Samson Akinmade, in Mile 12 axis of Lagos, and that he died hours from the injuries sustained during the accident.

At the court sitting on Wednesday, the judge, Justice Oyindamola Ogala, who did not entertain the plea of the defendant after listening to all arguments, ordered that the accused be remanded and adjourned the case till July 14, for trial.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Olayinka Adeyemi, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that the defendant caused the death of the LASTMA officer, who was enlist in service two years ago, knocking him down on January 26, at about 7:20 p.m at the Demurin Junction in Ketu.

The prosecution Counsel stated the defendant ran over the deceased LASTMA official, who was directing the traffic, with a blue-black Opel Space Bus with registration number AAA 74 GG at Demurin Street junction inwards Mile 12.

The defense counsel, Abiodun Kolawale from the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA), also requested a short adjournment to present the defendant’s bail application before the court.

Before the court proceedings, the General Manager of LASTMA, Olajide Oduyoye, had narrated that the deceased, after the accident, was immediately rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where he eventually died as a result of the severe injury sustained.

“This event is particularly sad because this was a young, intelligent and dedicated officer employed in the year 2019, was very committed to his job but has been cut down in his prime by a careless and lawless driver, thereby depriving his family, the government agency, Lagos and Nigeria of a future leader in the making”, he said.

Explaining further, Oduyoye said that the event occurred while the deceased was directing yellow buses away from the Demurin Street Junction choke point and approached the motorist to park away from the road to pick passengers.

“The driver assumed that he would be apprehended for obstructing traffic and sped off, knocking down the officer against the concrete culvert on the service lane and dragging him for about seven meters. He tried to escape through a street which turned out to be closed but was eventually arrested and handed over to the Police at Alapere along with his vehicle”, Oduyoye said.

He expressed the sympathy of colleagues at the Ministry of Transportation and LASTMA to the entire family of the deceased, assuring that the government would ensure that the apprehended driver was prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Oduyoye warned all motorists to desist from violating the State Traffic Law in order to prevent unnecessary accidents and deaths on Lagos roads, urging commuters to exercise patience at all times.

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