THE Lagos State government has filed charges against Osibanjo Oluwaseun, the driver of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicle that collided with a train in the Shogunle area of the state last month.
Charges against Oluwaseun were filed at a State High Court sitting in Ikeja on Tuesday, May 2.
He was arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter and grievous harm.
The State’s Director of Public Prosecution, Babajide Martins, told the court that the driver ignored warning signals, and “negligently killed” four passengers due to the collision with the train.
The prosecution counsel also said the action of the driver inflicted bodily injuries on some passengers of the train.
He asked the court to remand the defendant to a correctional facility and prayed for a new date for trial.
According to him, the accused offences contravened the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
However, Oluwaseun pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defense counsel, Lekan Egberongbe, appealed to the court to remand the defendant in police custody due to health reasons.
In her ruling, Justice Oyindamola Ogala said the court did not have the medical report of the defendant, adding that it should be presented to prison officials.
“If the custodial centre is served with the necessary medical report of the defendant, he should be given proper medical attention,” the judge said.
The case was subsequently adjourned to May 26 for the commencement of trial.
The collision between the BRT vehicle and the train occurred on March 9 in the Shogunle area of Oshodi, Lagos.
Witnesses at the scene said the bus was attempting to cross the rail track when an oncoming train rammed into it and dragged the bus from Shogunle to the PWD area of Ikeja.
Two passengers died at the scene while four others were declared dead at different hospitals.
Reacting to the accident, the managing director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria, said the driver is to be blamed for the accident.
But, the BRT driver said the vehicle had a mechanical fault while asking for forgiveness from the families of the victims.