Govt House driver jailed for causing death of ex-ASUU President Iyayi
A driver with the Government House, Lokoja, Kogi State, Danladi Baba, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for reckless driving and causing the death of Prof. Festus Iyayi, in an auto crash in November, 2013.
Iyayi, a former Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) national President, died in an auto crash involving one of the cars in the convoy of the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada.
Alhassan Husaini of Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court II, in his judgement in one-count charge of causing death by dangerous and reckless driving preferred against the driver, found him guilty of the offence and thereby convicted him.
Husaini said that 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”, the Chief Magistrate ruled.
He used the occasion to caution VIP drivers on recklessness, especially while in 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, Baba, who burst into tears upon the pronouncement of his sentence, was said to have committed the offence at about 11.30am, on November 12, 2013 on the Federal Highway, in Banda area of Lokoja.
According to the prosecution, Baba, while driving a Toyota Hilux pick-up van, belonging to the Kogi State government, on the convoy of the then governor of Kogi, 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 belonging to UNIBEN local chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), traveling to Kano.
The bus, in an attempt to swerve and and avoid a head-on collision, skidded and rolled over several times leading to the death of Prof. Iyayi, and as well injured Dr Mrs Ngozi Iloh and Dr Enchanted Anthony.
According to the prosecution, Iyayi who was held down by the seat belt, holding some papers, lost his life as all attempts to revive him failed