Assault: prosecution of Abia Speaker ongoing – FRSC

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has assured that the case of alleged assault on its officials by the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly and his wife would not be swept under the carpet.

The Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, gave the assurance at a strategic session with FRSC Zonal Commanders ahead of the 2017 special patrol operation of the Corps slated for December 20 to January 17.

Oyeyemi, who was responding to reporters’ questions at the forum, assured the public that the matter was in court and would be pursued to a logical conclusion.

“The case is in court, we have taken him to court, both himself and the wife. I assure you the case will not be swept under the carpet.

“My personnel cannot be assaulted like that. They would have been dead by now.

“I am bearing the responsibility of their medicals because we still have to operate on them. One of the bullets almost got to the spine of one of them. So, the case is going on,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on July 15, two FRSC marshals were shot by policemen allegedly on the orders of the Speaker, Mr Chikwendu Kalu, and his wife, Victoria, on the Umuikaa/Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway.

The marshals were said to have stopped the vehicle conveying the Speaker’s wife and attempted to book her for alleged traffic violation.

She reportedly called for help from her husband, who allegedly arrived at the scene and ordered his security details to shoot the officials in the heat of an argument.

The Corps Marshal also gave an update on the `Operation Cobra’ launched by the FRSC on July 1 to check five rampant life-threatening traffic offences including the use of a phone while driving and overloading.

He said at least 6,000 offenders had been arrested, and 2,500 referred to various public health facilities for tests out of which 30 tested negative.

“Over 6,000 offenders have been arrested, and 2,500 taken to the hospitals. Thirty tested positive.

“Some have high sugar level, high blood pressure, cannabis, heroine, drugs. It is called DUI (Driving under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol.

“They have commenced their own voluntary rehabilitation because the licenses are confiscated until the medical report certifies them fit, and that is the beauty of this.

“Some we referred for drivers’ education, but all paid their fines, no waiver, and this is going straight to the consolidated revenue account of the government. So, it’s a success story,’’ he said.

Oyeyemi said he would launch additional seven patrol vehicles for injection into the Operation Cobra exercise in the FCT next week.

He said the Corps was pressing for an amendment of the FRSC Act to include community service in the list of punishments for traffic law offenders.

“That is what obtains in developed countries. So, instead of sending an offender to jail, they may be asked to go to some public facilities to sweep or clean toilets.

“Next week, we are launching another set of seven vehicles to be injected into Operation Cobra in the Federal Capital Territory.

“There are currently five patrol vehicles and 10 motorcycles for the FCT operation. I am grateful to the Minister of FCT who has promised us more patrol motorcycles,’’ he said.

Oyeyemi said that the operation had paid off with a downward trend in the incidence of the target offences in the FCT and other critical states.

He commended the FRSC marshals for being firm in the operation in spite of harassment and intimidation from some road users.