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Falling container deaths: Lagos State Government to prosecute truck owner, driver

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The Lagos State Government has vowed to arrest and prosecute the driver and owner of a truck, which container fell on a commercial bus, killing two passengers and injuring three others last July 26.

Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) spoke on Wednesday during a condolence visit to the family of one of the victims, Chidinma Ajoku.

The late Chidinma, an employee of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), was killed alongside her colleague when a container fell on a commercial bus they were in at Ilasamaja area of the state on July 26, 2020.

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had described the accident as ‘an avoidable accident’ given that the alleged reckless driving of the truck driver led to its attached 20ft container falling on the commercial bus.

Onigbanjo, who was accompanied by some top officials from the state’s Ministry of Justice, told the deceased’s Mum, Chineze Ajoku that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu felt her pain and would do everything to ensure that the family gets justice.

He said, “At the Lagos State Executive Council Meeting, we’ve discussed the issue and the governor was so upset.

“This is happening too many times and we will use this incident to ensure that going forward, the law will deal adequately with all those responsible.

“The governor is a parent and most of us in the Exco are also parents. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child and we must commend the remarkable courage you have displayed.

“But know that we are not unconcerned, we will ensure that the people who are responsible face the full wrath of the law.” he stated.

Onigbanjo also disclosed that the state had resolved to amend the law to ensure that in a case where a container is not latched and it falls off and injures anyone or damages any property, both the owner of the container responsible in addition to the owner of the truck and the truck driver are held liable.

“We will brief you on every stage of the matter from arrest to prosecution and I will personally handle the prosecution to show you how seriously we take the matter. Your daughter will not die in vain”, the Attorney-General said.

In her response, Mrs. Ajoku said, “Please tell the Governor that I am overwhelmed that he took this step to make sure that those responsible are brought to book.

“I am grateful and my family is grateful. I know that now that the government has stepped into the matter, we will get justice in a short while and this really is all I’m asking.

“Let them know that there are laws in Lagos because if we don’t use one person as a scapegoat, other people will feel they can do what they like. I am glad that what I want is what is being done,” she said.

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