The Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC, has blamed the Kogi State Governor’s convoy and construction firms handling the Abuja-Lokoja road for the accident that killed a university lecturer, Festus Iyayi.
Mr. Iyayi, a former leader of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, died in a car crash last November while travelling to Kano for an emergency meeting called by the union in respect of a lingering nationwide strike by university lecturers.
The corps released the findings of its investigation on the causes of the accident following a Freedom of Information, FOI, request by the chambers of a senior lawyer, Femi Falana.
The report said the accident was caused by the failure of the driver of a black Toyota Hilux pick-up van in the governor’s convoy, carrying seven policemen, to move to his lane of travel despite the fact that the road has been confined to a two lane roadway following the protracted construction work on the road.
According to the FRSC findings, Danladi Baba, the driver of the Toyota Hilux pickup, travelling “on a high but determined speed, southbound of the road, deliberately failed to return to and stick to his lane of travel.
“Contributing to the injury severity was speed; the direction of the impact and one of V#1 (Toyota Hiace Bus) body reinforcement material which pierced through the heart area of the fatally injured.”
The investigation also blamed the construction companies building the Abuja-Lokoja Road for failing to provide adequate guidance and channelization.
The Corps advised that governors’ convoy “maintain adequate lane discipline and desist from running other vehicles off-road.” It also instructed politicians to regulate speed limits for convoy drivers, saying politicians should liaise with the FRSC for proper orientation and enlightenment of drivers.
The FRSC also advised government and construction companies to accelerate the completion of the Abuja-Lokoja road to avoid further deadly accident on the road. The road has remained under construction for several years and has become notorious for deadly road mishaps causing the death of several people.
Mr. Iyayi was a popular novelist. He won the Commonwealth Literature prize in 1988 for his novel “Heroes.”