The Federal Road Safety Corp has indicted a driver in the convoy of the Kogi state governor, Capt. Idris Wada’s convoy for the accident that claimed the life of Prof. Festus Iyayi.
Iyayi was the former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
A report dated March 2014, 2014, indicted a driver in the governor’s convoy as the cause of the accident which occurred on Lokoja-Abuja Road. The accident occurred on November 12, 2013.
The FRSC investigating team, which dismissed weather or vehicle conditions as probable causes of the accident, stated that the convoy vehicle, a Toyota Hilux pick-up van, was conveying six police details.
The team stated that Iyayi was the only one who died in the accident while others in both vehicles sustained various degrees of injuries.
The nature of the injuries noticed on Iyayi’s heart area had fuelled speculations that he might have been shot in the chest region, implying that he might not have died as a result of the accident alone.
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, was among many Nigerians, who called for an autopsy to be carried out on Iyayi’s corpse before the deceased was eventually buried on December 7, 2013.
The FRSC report was made available on Sunday by the law chamber of Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), who had on the instruction of ASUU, requested for it from the FRSC under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
The Corps Legal Adviser, an Assistant Corps Marshall, Wole Olaniran, had signed the letter in reply to ASUU’s earlier request dated, February 12, 2014.
The FRSC report stated that Iyayi’s heart region was pierced by “reinforcement materials” of the bus conveying him during the accident.
The report reads in part, “The FRSC Investigation Team determines that the probable cause of the crash was the deliberate failure of V#2’s (convoy vehicle’s) driver to return fully or stick to his lane of travel.
“Contributing to the injury severity was speed, the direction of impact and one of V#1’s body reinforcement materials which pierced through the heart area of the fatally injured.”
The team of FRSC investigators stated in its report that the agency should seek “more legal powers to bring convoy drivers to justice when involved in traffic infractions that may lead to crashes.”
Iyayi, a lecturer at the University of Benin, died in the accident along Lokoja-Abuja Road on November 12, 2013, while on his way, along with others, to attend a meeting of the National Executive Council of ASUU in Kano.
According to the FRSC report, the driver of the convoy vehicle, which was travelling in opposite direction to the one conveying Iyayi and others, left his own lane, “reducing the traffic space for oncoming vehicles and in the process sideswiped the left side of the bus.”
The FRSC report also blamed the accident on the delay in the completion of the road project and failure of the construction company to provide adequate traffic guidance and channelisation.
The investigating team recommended a quick completion of the road, and also urged the governor to “liaise with the FRSC for convoy drivers’ proper orientation and enlightenment.”