The Lagos State Police Command on Thursday arraigned Jerry Ironkwe, the driver who crushed two sweepers of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, namely, 65-year-old Folashade Odufuwa and 60-year-old Ajoke Adefuye, in the Gbagada area of the state.
The 45-year-old mechanic was arraigned before Magistrate L.Y. Balogun sitting before a Yaba Magistrate Court on three counts bordering on reckless driving that led to the death of the two persons.
The police prosecutor, Chekwubeh Okeh, holding a brief for Haruna Magaji, told the court that the defendant committed the crime on November 13, 2023, around 7.30 am at the Charley Boy Bus Stop, along Gbagada Expressway.
According to Okeh, the offences contravened and are punishable under Sections 18(1) and 20 of the Road Traffic Law, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2012.
The charges read, “That you, Jerry Ironkwe, on November 13, 2023, around 7.30 am at Charley Boy Bus Stop, along the Gbagada Expressway, Lagos in the Yaba Magisterial District, being the driver in charge of one Honda Accord Saloon Car with Reg. No. EPE 984 DV, drove same in a dangerous manner to the public, without due care and attention, or reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(1) of the Road Traffic Law, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2012.
“That you, Jerry Ironkwe, on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District, dangerously drove the same vehicle to the public and caused the death of one Folashade Odufuwa, aged 65 years old, drove the same vehicle to the public, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 20 of the Road Traffic Law, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2012.
“That you, Jerry Ironkwe, on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District, dangerously drove the same vehicle to the public and caused the death of one Ajoke Adefuye, aged 60 years old and thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 20 of the Road Traffic Law, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2012.”
The defendant, Ironkwe, however pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Following his plea, Balogun admitted him to bail in the sum of N1m with two responsible sureties in like sum.
She, however, told the police to duplicate the case file and send it to the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions for legal advice.
She adjourned the case till December 13, 2023, for DPP advice.
Adefuye and Odufuwa were hit by a car while they were carrying out their daily LAWMA duties and they died on the spot.
Meanwhile, it was gathered in the court that the driver, Ironkwe, was not the owner of the Honda Saloon which rammed into the innocent sweepers, but he is a mechanic paid to fix it.
It was further gathered that on the day of the incident, Ironkwe was being chased by criminals, and not by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority as the viral news earlier claimed.
The Ministry of Transportation had released a statement on the same day stating that, “No LASTMA officer was involved in the unfortunate incident,” adding that anyone found guilty after the police investigation would face dire consequences according to the law.