Thursday, November 14, 2013

TRAGIC: Two Die, Many Injured As Governor's Convoy Causes Accident In Lagos

Two persons were killed on Wednesday, while no fewer than nine others were injured after a tipper rammed into pedestrians at the U-turn end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

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The tipper was said to be avoiding a government convoy of seven vehicles that allegedly drove recklessly into the expressway from a side road. The incident was said to have occurred between 11am and 12pm.
Eyewitness said the convoy had stopped to visit a yet-to-be identified person admitted at a private hospital in the area.
A witness, who requested anonymity said, “It was a convoy of about seven vehicles. There were four jeeps and three escort vans. The escorts were riot policemen.
“On their way back, while connecting the express, the convoy caused the accident. They drove into the expressway recklessly without stopping to check for oncoming vehicles.
“At the time they connected the expressway, a tipper was approaching on top speed. To avoid hitting the convoy, the tipper swerved to the right side of the road. It lost control and rammed into some pedestrians standing by the side of the road.”
The eyewitness said 11 persons were hit, while two died on the spot. It was learnt that the convoy did not wait initially, but went to make a U-turn to the other side of the expressway.
It was learnt that the convoy later stopped few metres opposite the scene of the accident.
The eyewitness said, “The riot policemen came down, they watched the scene for a while, jumped into their vehicles and proceeded towards the Sango area of Ogun State.
“We could not challenge the convoy when it stopped because the policemen carried guns and they looked menacing.”
It was learnt that a Lagos State Ambulance Service bus later arrived to convey victims to the hospital.
Eyewitnesses were unsure if the convoy belonged to either the Lagos or Ogun state governments.
One of them said, “The number plates of the vehicles were covered. Some people later came and said the  number plates on the vehicles of the police had Ogun State written on them.”
A senior police officer attached to Oke Odo Police Division, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not the command’s spokesperson, said, “We were informed that a truck coming from Abeokuta, had experienced brake failure while trying to avoid hitting another vehicle.
“The truck swerved off the road and in the process, ran into some pedestrians who were standing by the side of the expressway. We are aware that two persons were killed in the accident and that they had been conveyed to a general hospital by sympathisers at the scene.
“However, we do not know if the vehicle belonged to a convoy because we did not meet it at the scene.”
Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yusup Olayniyonu, said the convoy was not that of the Ogun government.
He said, “The governor is at Abeokuta and the deputy governor  is also at Abeokuta. Neither was in Lagos today.”
The Lagos State Commissioner for information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba,  aso said no government convoy from the state went to the area.
A highly placed government official also said,  “The governor is in Marina, Lagos Island, while the deputy governor is outside the country. No government official was in that area today (Wednesday).”
The telephone line of the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, rang out. Text messages sent to the phone waere not replied to as of the time of going to the press.

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