Iyayi’s Death: Widow, ASUU Demand Prosecution of Kogi Convoy Driver:
The Academic Staff Union of Universities and widow of the late Prof. Festus Iyayi, Grace, have given two weeks ultimatum to the Federal Road Safety Corps to prosecute those who caused the accident which claimed the deceased’s life.
Through their lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), they asked the FRSC to act on its preliminary report dated March 21, 2014, which indicted a driver in the convoy of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State, Mr. Danladi Baba.
Baba’s reckless driving was identified in the corps’ report as a major cause of the accident, on November 12, 2013 along Lokoja-Abuja Road.
A construction company, which was handling the portion of the road where the accident occurred was also indicted in the report for its failure to provide adequate traffic guidance and channelisation. The name of the company was given as Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria Ltd.
Falana addressed letter dated April 9, 2014 requesting FRSC to prosecute the driver and the construction company to the Corps Marshal of the corps. A copy of the the letter was obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday.
It read in part, “You are kindly requested to charge the two suspects, to wit: -Danladi Baba and Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria Ltdbefore a Magistrate Court inLokoja, Kogi State, for reckless driving occasioning death and creating a road hazard without adequate warning signs punishable under sections 11 and 20 of the FRSC Act, 2007.
“Take notice that if the said suspects are not arraigned in court within two weeks of the receipt of this letter, we shall apply to the Federal High Court for mandamus with a view to compelling you to carry out your statutory duty in the circumstance.”
The lawyer, who had earlier on behalf of ASUU and Grace, requested for the FRSC report, said the FRSC had sufficient backing of the law to prosecute those indicted in the report.
He stated, “With respect, we disagree with your request for ‘more legal powers to bring convoy drivers to justice when involved in traffic infractions that may lead to crashes’. Unlike state governors, convoy drivers attached to them are not entitled to immunity under section 308 of the Constitution. It is submitted that the Federal Road Safety Corps has adequate and enormous legal powers to bring drivers to book who engage in the contraventions of the law.” (Punch)