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Lagos Govt identifies Ojuelegba accident victims’ after arresting driver, owner

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Government has released identities of no fewer than four victims of the Ojuelegba truck accident, just as law enforcement agencies were mandated to intensify arrests of truck drivers found contravening the state’s traffic law on the roads.

Those already identified in the ongoing investigations were Blessing Isioma, Abdurahman Okoya, 40years old Felix Ifeanyi, and 49years old Basirat King.

It also disclosed that the driver and owner of the ill-fated truck have been apprehended and would be prosecuted in accordance with the law as directed by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

As gathered, the truck driver and the owner risked life imprisonment for not adhering to safety measures approved by the Lagos State Government to prevent such accidents in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this on Monday through a statement made available to newsmen, barely 24 hours after the container fell-off from the truck and crushed the passengers with only one survivor.

Omotoso, while commeserating with victims families, disclosed that efforts were ongoing to properly identify other passengers involved in the accident that occurred in Surulere Local Government.

He, meanwhile, disclosed that the governor has directed that the truck driver and owner should be prosecuted immediately for neglecting safety for their own gains.

According to the statement, The Lagos State Government commiserates with the families who lost their loved ones in the Ojuelegba truck accident on Sunday, January 29, 2023. May The Almighty console them and grant them the strength to go through this difficult time. Nine persons died in the accident.

“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after receiving an interim report of the incident, has directed the police to speed up their investigation of the matter. Besides, he has given the following directives:

“The driver of the truck and the owner, who are in police custody, must be prosecuted; Ministry of Transportation and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) should meet urgently to find a lasting solution to the menace of falling trucks; and  All the laws governing the operations of trucks and related vehicles must be enforced with more vigour and diligence.

“The incident of 29th January, 2023 is one too many and it shows the irresponsibility of owners and drivers of such articulated vehicles who under the law should care for other road users.

“The Lagos State Government has zero tolerance for large containers that fall off trucks and injure or kill citizens, who are going about their lawful businesses.  The driver (Sodiq Okanlawon) and owner (Wasiu Lekan) of a container that killed three (3) people on the 26th July, 2020 on Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Ilasamaja were prosecuted and convicted on the 28th February, 2022 and sentenced to life imprisonment by Hon. Justice Okikiolu Ighile.  The State Government will, in a similar manner, ensure that the driver and the owner of the truck involved in the January 29th incident are put on trial for the needless death of our dear citizens. This, we hope, will send a strong message to all those who have no regard for other people’s lives that Lagos will not condone their recklessness. They must be stopped, with the strong backing of our laws, because their actions offend our avowed commitment to safety and decency”.

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