Lagos state governor, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, has directed the state Ministry of Justice and relevant authorities to commence the trial of the owner and driver of the container-laden truck that fell on a commercial bus on Ojuelegba Bridge, Surulere area of the state, last Sunday, January 29.
The truck fell on the commercial bus with registration number, KTU 921 YD, killing nine occupants in the process with one survivor.
Among those that died are Miss Blessing Isioma, Mr. Abdurahman Okoya Sunday, Mr. Felix John Ifeanyi, 40, Mrs. Olatokunbo Basirat King, 49, among others.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, after receiving an interim report of the incident, on Monday January 30, directed the police to speed up their investigation.
Addressing newsmen, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the governor gave the following directives.
“That 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 January 29, 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 the owner, Wasiu Lekan, of a container which killed three people on the July 26, 2020, on Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Ilasamaja, were prosecuted and convicted on the February 28, 2022, and sentenced to life imprisonment by 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 29 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''
The State's Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde, also stated that the state governor has directed the Ministry of Transportation to thoroughly investigate the remote and immediate cause of the accident so as to prevent a recurrence.
“We are working with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to install Vehicle/Truck barriers on the inward and outward sections of the Bridge.
We share the grief of those who lost their loved ones in the accident and pray that the Almighty will strengthen them at this difficult time.
The Government will continue to implement its Transport Master Plan, which has safety strategies that will ensure that our roads are safe,” Commissoner for Transportation, Dr. Federic Oladeinde stated.