By Dayo Johnson
IT was an harvest of deaths in Akure, the Ondo state capital as five persons including a father of four were crushed to death by petrol tanker and a timber lorry within one week.Two of deceased were occupants of a Golf car which crashed into an electric pole in front of a popular hotel on Ilesha garage road in Akure at about 830pm that Sunday.
The mangled bodies of three of the deceased were packed i to the Akure Specialist mortuary. Families of the deceased went through a traumatized experience over the loss of their loved ones in the last one week.
They had no premonition that their bread winners were embarking on a journeys of no return when they left their different homes that ill fated morning.
The crashes occurred at different locations within the Akure metropolis. The father of four, Sunday Oladokun, 40years old, who just purchased a used car through monthly contributions met his untimely death while returning from his workshop at about 730pm that day along the Ilesha/Owo Expressway.
Sunday, according to family sources, purchased the car three months earlier and was yet to pay the balance of the newly acquired “rickety” second hand car when death came knocking. He left without saying good bye to either his son or his two year old baby girl.
The second crash occurred along the popular Isinkan market in Akure metropolis when a commercial motorcycle operator popularly known as Okada rider was crushed alongside his male passenger. The two on the Okada reportedly died on the spot as timber truck l crossed to the other side of the road and pinned them into the wall of a popular Nursery and Primary school in the area.
A commuter waiting to board a bus to Ondo town was equally crushed but escaped by whiskers as one of her legs was reportedly severed off. She is presently receiving treatment at the general hospital in Akure. Vanguard learnt that the two persons that crashed into an electric pole along Ilesha road in Akure at about 830pm were over-speeding. They died in the process.
Two others in the Golf car reportedly sustained injuries and we’re rushed to a private hospital close to Lafe Junction in Akure. Report had it that they were coming from a party and may have been drunk going by the severity of the accident . The electric pole was badly damaged as the car uprooted it .
Some sympathizers reportedly informed the FRSC in the state capital who rushed them to the private hospital. Officials of the state government were seen fixing the pole while the involved car was removed before daybreak. The scenes of the crashes were besieged by sympathizers who trooped there to join the wailing train.
Vanguard learnt that the crash along the Ilesha/ Owo expressway involved a mechanic simple called “Sunday rewire”. He was heading to his house along Olu foam in Akure when the tanker driver rammed into his car around 730pm despite all his effort to dodge the tanker. The deceased was reportedly coming from his workshop located at Agbogbo filling station when the unfortunate occurred.
His mangled body was removed after sympathizers axed the badly damaged car. Eyewitness account had it that the tanker driver overtook another vehicle and collided with the deceased vehicle killing him instantly. It was learnt that the tanker driver who was in hurry recklessly overtook another car and ended up facing the deceased car and nailed his car to the side of the road.
The accident reportedly halted free flow of traffic for hours just as officials of the FRSC and police raced to the scene of the crash and later removed his corpse. Meanwhile, the families of the deceased have alleged that security operatives were trying to compromised by shielding the driver of the tanker to pervert justice.
A member of the family identified as Tajudeen alleged that the police was trying to take side in the matter by exonerating the petroleum company that owned the tanker. He appealed to the Police Commissioner Isaac Eke to call his men to order by not destroying evidences they want to use to prosecute the matter in Court.
The family insisted that only justice for the auto mechanic will possibly help alleviate the suffering of his widow and four children aged between two and eleven. However, the state police commissioner, Issac Eke said it was too early to conclude who was at fault since it was a case of fatal accident.
Eke however assured that all those found culpable will be brought to book. Meanwhile, the old truck driver, Alex Nayade has been remanded in prison custody for allegedly causing thec death of the father of four. The order was given by an Akure Chief Magistrate court when he was arraigned.
The accused person, who lives in Lagos was alleged to have caused the death of Oladokun a mechanic through reckless driving along the expressway. The accused person according to a Charge sheet read to him drove a truck with registration number Lagos AGL 105 XL and hit Oladokun with the truck, leading to the untimely death of the deceased.
Oladokun who was not represented by any counsel was accused of murder among other offences. He however pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him. The Police Prosecutor, Sola Omolade said that the accused person committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(II) of the criminal code cap Vol VI laws of Nigeria 2006.
In his ruling,the Presiding Magistrate, Mrs Bunmi Dosumu ordered the accused person to be remanded in Olokuta prison custody pending the determination of his case. Chief Magistrate Dosumu ordered that the case file of Nayade be forwarded to the state Ministry of Justice for legal advice. She thereafter adjourned the case till 20th August, 2015 for mention.
It will be recalled that hundreds of students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students NANS recently took to the streets in Akure, the Ondo state capital to protest against incessant killing of their colleagues by trucks. The protesters blocked the Akure/Owo Expressway for hours to register their grievances.
NANS Vice President Timileyin Ayenuro who led the protest said the protest came after the expiration of the seven day ultimatum issued to the federal government to ban trailers from plying the highways during the day time. They blocked the highway for several hours, preventing vehicular movements,especially those commercial vehicles heading towards Lagos,,Ibadan and Abuja.
Ayenuro said they wanted the federal government to create an alternative routes for the trucks and trailers or ban them from moving during the day time so as to drastically reduce the rate of auto crashes on the federal roads.
They displayed placards with various inscriptions, such as ‘ enough is enough, government ban trailers from our highways’ , ‘ government pls ban trailers on our roads ‘ our colleagues are dying in road accidents,’ ‘ stop trailers from killing our colleagues ‘ among others .
Ayenuro, said they cannot continue to fold their arms and allow their colleagues to be killed by trucks and trailers on the highways. “ We can not allow our colleagues to be dying of roads accidents caused by trailers, last two weeks, we lost about seven students on this road, last month, 12 students of Olabisi Onabanjo University lost their lives in an accident caused by trucks.
“The students of UNIBEN also died of accidents last two weeks. In Onitsha 68 people lost their lives. “Just this morning (Friday) about eight people died in an accident caused by truck in Oyo state, this is what is happening, so we want the federal government to find solution to this. “Nigerian students are saying the federal,government should ban trailers, tankers on our highways for now to stop the killing of Nigerian students by these trailers “