Driver docked for knocking down LASTMA official with vehicle
By Felix Kuyinu
A driver, Abuchi Okpara has been arraigned before the Magistrates Court in Ejigbo after he was alleged to have knocked down a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) official who was on official duty.
On August 7, 2017, Okpara, an employee of King Solomon Chariots Transportation was said to have stopped at an undesignated spot at Igando for his passengers to allight from the bus. He sighted officials of the LASTMA who were on the verge of his arrest for the offence and tried to force an escape with the vehicle, a Ghana bound Toyota Sienna with registration number KJA 633 CT with the motive of eluding the arrest.
The suspect however hit one of the road monitoring officials, Obafemi Ogunmeru and made an escape with his heels, leaving the vehicle which the officials took to their office as evidence.
Echonews gathered that Okpara fled to Ghana having escaped the scene but was caught by the Police via the efforts of his employer, Johnson Ogbonnaya who informed the Police of his whereabouts.
At the court, the Police prosecutor, Superintendent Kenneth Asibor, told the court that the victim was rushed to the General Hospital, Igando before his referral to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) when his health condition worsened.
Asibor stated, “The accused, after knocking down the traffic officer with his vehicle, escaped before he could be apprehended by some policemen who were at the scene.
“The victim suffered serious injuries on his head and hands as a result of the incident. In fact, the victim became unconscious and was rushed to a hospital where he was admitted.”
He also informed the court that Ogunmeru was still receiving treatment at the hospital and was unable to come to court.
Okpara was charged before the court with attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty.
The presiding magistrate, Teslimi Shomade, granted him bail in the sum of N100,000, with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case till September 19, 2018.
The court ordered he should be remanded in prison custody pending when he would perfect his bail conditions.
LASTMA’s General Manager, Mr. Olawale Musa, urged vehicle owners to take a cue from Ogbonnaya’s cooperation with the agency by ensuring that violators of laws on their payroll were not allowed to go scot-free.
Musa cautioned traders against displaying their wares on the road, especially as the Eid el-Kabir festival approaches, to prevent traffic gridlock.