A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted a request to commence a suit against the Federal Road Safety Corps over its failure to prosecute those who caused the accident which claimed the life of a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the late Prof. Festus Iyayi.
ASUU and Iyayi’s widow, Grace, had in an ex parte application dated May 5, 2014, made the request to sue FRSC to enable the court to compel the commission to prosecute those who were indicted in the commission’s report dated March 21, 2014.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola granted the application on Thursday and ordered that the substantive suit be served on the FRSC to enable it to file its defence.
FRSC had in the report of investigation into the accident, indicted a driver in the convoy of Kogi State Governor, Danladi Baba, and a construction firm, Gitto Construczioni Generali Nigeria Ltd.
But the commission had shunned a joint request by ASUU and the widow of the deceased, Grace Iyayi, to prosecute Baba and the construction company for their alleged actions which caused the accident.
The accident, which claimed Iyayi’s life, occurred on Lokoja-Abuja Road on November 12, 2013.
Justice Ademola granted the application after it was moved by a lawyer from Femi Falana’s law firm, Wisdom Elum.
After granting the application, the judge asked the applicants to serve their substantive suit on FRSC to enable them to file its defence.
The judge ruled, “Leave is hereby granted for the applicants to apply for judicial review in terms of an order of mandamus compelling the respondent herein to charge Mr. Danladi Baba and Gitto Construczioni Generali Nigeria Ltd before a Magistrate Court in Lokoja, Kogi State for dangerous driving and creating a road hazard without adequate warning signs which occasioned the death of Prof. Festus Iyayi on November 12, 2013 at Banda, seven kilometres from Lokoja International Market along Lokoja-Abuja Road forthwith.”
The applicants in their substantive application, are seeking three prayers, among which is, a declaration that the failure of the FRSC to prosecute Baba and the construction firm is illegal and unconstitutional.
They also want the court to compel the respondent to charge Baba and Gitto Construczioni Generali Nigeria Ltd before a Magistrate’s Court in Lokoja, Kogi State.
They want the FRSC to file charges against Baba at a Magistrate’s Court in Lokoja “for dangerous driving which occasioned the death of Prof. Festus Iyayi on November 12, 2013 at Banda 7Km from Lokoja International Market along Lokoja-Abuja Road.”
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. (Punch)