Says 80% of hit and run victims killed by one-way drivers
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Chairman of the Lagos State Taskforce, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Shola Jejeloye has said that man the man who came with his mother (widow) to reclaim his seized vehicle put for auction was a serial and notorious “One-Way” driving against traffic defaulter.
Recall that Vanguard had earlier published a story on Thursday, when a widow, 49, Dorothy Dike and her son, Osinachi Ndukwe, wept openly as they begged for price reduction while their only vehicle bought at the rate of N1.8.million on hired purchase was being auctioned for N450,000.
Traffic offences: Widow, son beg for price reduction as Lagos auctions over 134 seized vehicles
[Updated] Traffic offences: Lagos auctions over 140 vehicles to public
VIDEO: Widow, son who spent 3 years in prison over vehicle auctioned by Lagos govt, narrate ordeal
Lagos State Government, through its Ministry of Justice and the state Taskforce, organised the public auction of over 134 abandoned and forfeited vehicles, at Lagos State Task Force’ headquarters, Alausa, Ikeja, where a crowd of auctioneers, agents, buyers and vehicle owners tried to outwit one another.
Reacting on Friday, to the story which had attracted sentiment from members of the public, Jejeloye said there are several dangers inherent in driving against traffic (one-way) and harmful effects it has not just on the free flow of traffic and other law-abiding drivers but on the possibilities of causing loss of lives and damage to property.
He explained that most of the vehicles being auctioned were confiscated for driving against traffic and endangering their lives and that of other residents.
“Some of the individuals who have come here to bid do not know that if we had not confiscated some of these vehicles while committing those offences, they would have killed pedestrians, bidders or other road users who are unaware that there is a vehicle approaching through the wrong side of the road.
“From our records, 80 per cent of victims hit and run on the roads who were knocked down especially early in the morning were caused by motorists who drove against traffic.”
“Some of the supposed victims who pleaded for their vehicles to be auctioned to them at the auction ground were serial and notorious one-way defaulters. One of them was the man who came with his mother (widow) to reclaim his vehicle.
“If you recall correctly, he was arrested sometime in May for driving on one-way all the way from Oshodi to Mile 2 and even assaulted the officers trying to arrest him by biting off the officer’s finger.
“He was charged accordingly and he spent three months in Badagry Correctional Facility and his vehicle impounded.
“This is the reason why we urge members of the public not to be sentimental about actions like this because anyone on the receiving end would feel the pain caused by one-way drivers.
“We have also had other incidents where a heavily pregnant woman was knocked down by a driver who drove against traffic along Apapa, leaving her family members in disarray.
“These actions are needless and can be curbed if drivers just exercise a bit of patience and restraint on the roads, but in the case where they fail to do so then they will be apprehended and brought before the Magistrate.”
Taskforce boss, therefore, appealed to residents to be steadfast in the fight against traffic indiscipline on Lagos roads, especially driving on routes meant for the opposite traffic.
He urged them to be patient while driving and promised to do more in ensuring that traffic offenders are brought to book and orderliness is maintained on Lagos roads.
Osinachi narrates ordeal
In an emotional laden voice, Osinachi, 31, narrated how he became a commercial driver due to unemployment.
According to him, “I bought the bus at N1.8 million on hired purchase in 2021 and was plying Ijegun enroute Cele Expressway.
“The bus was three months old and I had remitted N300,000 when I drove against traffic in Cele area and the bus was impounded.
“Not only that, I was sentenced to three years imprisonment which I completed recently but before the completion, information reached me that my three years old daughter was ill due to lack of funds and before I completed the jail term, I got information that she had died.
“I am here with my mother with the expectation that we will buy the bus at the rate of N50,000. Surprisingly, the price was closed at N450,000 and we have 48 hours to complete the payment.
“We have sold most of our belongings to feed and are left with nothing. This is a great problem before us. My father died while I was three years old and my mother has been there for me but there is no way she can raise N450,000.
“Who will I turn to at a time many Nigerians are finding it difficult to feed? I don’t know what to do again,” he said.
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