Promoting Good Governance.

Festus Iyayi’s Death: FRSC Report Indicts Gov Wada’s Convoy

The Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, has blamed the convoy of the Kogi State governor, Idris Wada, and the construction firms handling the Abuja-Lokoja road for the accident that killed former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Festus Iyayi.

The commission in its five-page findings, a copy of which was made available Sunday, 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 had been confined to a two-lane roadway following the protracted construction work on the road.

According to the corps legal adviser, Wole Olaniran, an assistant corps marshal, the driver of the Toyota Hilux pickup, Danladi Baba, travelling on a high but determined speed, southbound of the road, deliberately failed to return to and stick to his lane of travel.

The report said contributing to the injury severity was speed: “the direction of the impact and one of Vehicle number 1 (Toyota Hiace Bus) body reinforcement material which pierced through the heart area of the fatally injured (Iyayi).”

The investigation also blamed the construction companies building the Abuja-Lokoja Road for failing to provide adequate guidance and channelisation.

The commission 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, adding that they 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 more deadly accidents on the road.

Iyayi died in a car crash last November while travelling to Kano for an emergency meeting called by the union over a nationwide strike by university lecturers.

Following the public outrage that greeted the incident, the FRSC ordered an investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident.

But when the commission refused to make public its findings, the law firm of a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, which said it was acting on the instruction of its client, ASUU, requested for a certified true copy of the report, relying on provisions of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

The letter from the law chamber, dated February 12, 2014, and signed by Samuel Ogala asked the FRSC to give it a certified true copy of the report of its findings within seven days of the receipt of the correspondence.