By Onozure Dania

A Vehicle Inspection Service (VIA), officer, engineer Hamed Baruwa, yesterday told a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, that the Truck that carried Container, without latch which fell and caused the death of three people, had no roadworthiness.

Baruwa was giving evidence in the ongoing trial of a truck driver, Sodiq Okanlanwan, alongside the truck owner, Wasiu Lekan, over involuntary manslaughter.

The witness who was led in evidence by Lagos State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, said he was directed by his boss engineer Akin George Fashola, to investigate the incident that occurred on July 26, 2020.

Also read: Court remands truck driver, owner over ‘involuntary manslaughter’

He said,” I proceeded to Ilasamaja on August 6, to Ilasamaja Police station, where I met DSP Oluwasola Omololu and he took me to the place they parked the vehicle at Balex Bus stop, when I got there with my team, I saw the Volkswagen commercial bus that has been compression because of the container that fell on it.”

” I asked for the Truck and the DSP, took me to the place where it is parked,  it was a 20 feet container, I noticed that the truck is not road worthy, the front and back fender was not there, the rare light and backlight were not there, the shaft of the vehicle had pulled out,” Baruwa stated.

The witness said he then went back to the scene of the accident and found out that the road was worthy, as there is no pothole inward Mile 2, adding that after his investigation, he took photographers of his observations.

He also told the court that, when he got to his office, he logged the Truck registration number SGM 715 XA, into their detective machine and discovered that the vehicle license had expired since 2018.

However, the defendants’ counsel, Mr M. A. Osamede, urged the court for an adjournment to enable Cross- Examine the witness.

The case was adjourned till August 26, for the continuation of trial.

Earlier, the prosecutor informed the court of amended information and additional proof of evidence, dated August 19, 2020.

The information was amended to seven-count charge as against the earlier three counts.

In the amended information, it stated that Sodiq Okanlawon, on July 26, at about 4: 30pm, at Apapa-Oshodi Expressway Ilasamaja, drove his articulated vehicle with reg no. SGM 715 XA, reckless without latching the container thereon and caused the container to fall and caused the deaths of  Nnaekpe Victor, Chidinma Ajoku and Daniel Okwuoge.

It also stated that Wasiu Lekan, failed, neglected and refused to ensure that his articulated vehicle with reg no. SGM 715 XA, was roadworthy, which caused the death of the three deceased persons.

The defendants were also accused of liability for the safety of vehicles contrary to Section 18 of the Lagos State Transport sector reform law of 2018.

Okanlawon and Lekan were alleged to have failed to obtain valid vehicle license, hackney permit and insurance certificate of their vehicle, in conformity with the conditions and standard of commercial vehicles in Lagos State.

The defendants were arraigned over alleged involuntary manslaughter.

The duo is facing a seven-count charge filed against them by the Lagos State government.

The Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN told the court that the defendants committed the offences on July 26, 2020.

He said Okanlanwan, on July 26, at about 4 pm, on Oshodi Expressway, in Ilasamaja, ran over the victims, with his vehicle.

According to the prosecution, the offence is contrary to Section 224 and punishable under Section 229, and 18 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and 2018.

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