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Kogi Government House driver jailed over Iyayi’s death


Late Festus Iyayi

A driver attached to the Kogi State Government House, Danladi Baba, whose recklessness caused the auto crash that resulted to the death of Prof Festus Iyayi in November 2013, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment .

In his judgment on the case of a one-count charge of causing death by dangerous and reckless driving preferred against the driver, Mr. Alhassan Husaini of Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court II, found him guilty of the offence and sentenced him to prison.

Husaini said the penal clause under Section 5 of the Federal Highway Act, CAP F. 13 of 2004, being mandatory position, coupled with the severity of the offence, tied the hands of the court.

“I have no option than to sentence you, Danladi Baba, to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine,” he ruled.

Husaini used the occasion to caution VIP drivers on their recklessness, especially while on convoys, saying: “What is regrettable in this case is the serious abuse of privilege of late by VIP convoys.

“These siren-blaring convoys force on-coming and other categories of vehicles off the roads in a manner that exposes law-abiding road users to hazards.”

The convict, who wept uncontrollably upon the pronouncement of the sentence, was said to have committed the offence about 11:30am on the said date.

According to the prosecution, Baba, while driving a Toyota Hilux pick-up belonging to Kogi State Government on the convoy of the then governor, Capt. Idris Wada, drove dangerously and recklessly without regard for other road users.

The action, according to the prosecution, made him to have a near head-on collision with the Toyota Hiace bus belonging to University of Benin local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) traveling to Kano.

The bus, in an attempt to avoid the Hilux pick-up, skidded and rolled over several times, leading to the death of Iyayi and injuring of Mrs. Ngozi Iloh and Dr. Enchanted Anthony.

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