Lagos re-arraigns boat operator over death of 13
A boat captain identified as Elebiju Happiness has been arraigned by Lagos State Government over the mishap that killed 13 persons on Lagos Waterways around the Kirikiri area last month at an Ikeja High Court.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the boat captain, Elebiju is facing 10- count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter and operating of a boat without a license before Justice Josephine Oyefeso.
It was also learnt that the defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mrs Yinka Adeyemi who led the prosecution, alleged offences against the defendant were involuntary manslaughter contrary to Section 224 and punishable under Section 229 of the Criminal Law Ch C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015 and operating without a license contrary to Section 311 (1) of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018
Adeyemi told the court that Elebiju allegedly caused the death of 13 passengers in a boat mishap on the Lagos State Inland Waterways along Kirikiri after taking off from an illegal loading site with 20 passengers.
Upon capsizing, she said the rescue team of Lagos State Waterways Authority, Marine Police and other boat operators rescued five passengers while the defendant, Captain of the boat, and his deck hand boy survived.
The DPP presented two witnesses before the court who gave evidence against the defendant.
The trial Judge, Justice Oyefeso, however, adjourned the matter to September 17.
Similarly, the State Government has also commenced the prosecution of the driver and owner of a vehicle, Dominic Amaechi and Cyprian Arinze respectively over the killing of two persons and causing bodily harm on another person.
This was contained in a statement released by the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi.
According to the statement, the accident caused the death of Eno Joseph (M), Titilayo Alayonimi (F), breaking of the leg of one Alani Oladipupo (M) and also causing severe damage to the property of Saba Steel Nigeria Ltd.
The defendants were arraigned on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 before Justice Oyindamola Ogala also of Ikeja High Court.
The driver of the vehicle, Arinze, was charged among others, for driving in a dangerous and reckless manner, involuntary manslaughter, causing grievous bodily harm, willful damage to property and failure to obtain a valid driver’s license.
The owner of the vehicle, Amaechi, on the other hand, was charged with involuntary manslaughter as a result of refusal to ensure his truck was roadworthy and failure to obtain vehicle licence and relevant permits.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the prosecutor the offences were contrary to Section 224 of the Criminal Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015 , Sections 18 and 51 of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law , 2018.
The case was adjourned till September 30 for trial.
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