From Suleiman ldris Lagos
The Lagos State Government yesterday disclosed plans to prosecute the owner and driver of the ill-fated fuel laden tanker which exploded last Thursday on Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The State’s Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal at a briefing on Monday said investigations into the incident were ongoing, saying that government would not allow vehicles that pose serious danger to residents on the road.
The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem had at the weekend written to the CP to advise him on the relevant provisions of the law that could guide the ongoing investigation which would lead to possible prosecution.
The police chief, who briefed journalists after a security meeting with the Governor, Mr. Akinwumin Ambode commiserated with those who lost their loved ones to the tragic incident, while also commending emergency responders who quickly raced to the scene to keep the causality figure low.
“As regards investigation into the matter, it is in top gear. I have just received a letter from the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice which stated very clearly charges which we are going to prefer against the driver and the owner of that tanker.
“Henceforth, we are using this opportunity to call on all tanker drivers, all lorry drivers, all owners of such articulated vehicles to please submit those vehicles for Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) test; they must go through the entire hub and get the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) Certificate of Road Worthiness. We will not allow such vehicles which obviously pose serious danger to other road users on our roads,” Edgal said.
He said government had already directed security agencies to intensify enforcement of relevant laws, especially the State Traffic Law, with the view to ensuring that the roads and highways in the State were safe for commuters to ply without any danger.
Edgal also urged residents to always refrain from converging on the scene of any accident of such magnitude as that of the unfortunate tanker fire incident, saying there could be secondary explosion which could lead to loss of lives.
Speaking on other issues deliberated at the meeting, Edgal said the Council reviewed the security situation in the State since the last time it met, saying it was gratifying to note that there had been 17 per cent reduction in violent crimes in the period under review.
He also allayed fears over renewed threat of militancy in the creek areas of Epe, Imota and Agbowa, assuring that State Government, in collaboration with security agencies, was on top of the situation.
On the scheduled visit to Lagos by French and Namibian Presidents in the coming days, Edgal urged residents to show the hospitality the State is known for, while appealing for cooperation in the eventuality of road diversions and restrictions.
Giving update on the tanker accident, the Attorney General (Kazeem) said families of the victims had started submitting relevant samples to aid DNA test, saying: “I can confirm that today, families who lost their loved ones to the accident have started reporting at the Lagos State DNA Forensic Centre for submission of reference samples that would be used to identify victims.”