At least one person died and four other passengers were seriously wounded in an auto accident that happened on Saturday evening at Moniya in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state.
The accident occurred when some officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) gave a commercial Micra car a hot chase until the car — together with the FRSC’s own — plunged into a ditch, resulting in the death of Akeem Ibrahim, the driver of the commercial car, and leaving four others passengers critically wounded.
According to a witness, the driver of the commercial car had refused to stop at a checkpoint manned by the FRSC officials around Ojoo. The driver’s refusal to stop made the FRSC official to embark on a hot pursuit of the Micra car, with number plate Lagos 831 DH, and their van marked 1139(3).
“We saw how the FRSC officials were pursuing the unpainted commercial car,” the witness. “The officials were trying to overtake the car and in the process both of them plunged into this wide hole by the roadside.”
A source said the officials of the FRSC were chasing the car for not being painted in the normal commercial colour.
“The FRSC were chasing the car because it was not painted in the normal commercial colour. The passengers in the car were shouting and pleading with the officials not to risk their lives, but they did not heed their pleas.
“Like a movie, we just saw and heard a deafening noise when they crashed. The Micra car somersaulted before it crashed into the ditch, followed by the FRSC van. The driver of the Micra car had stopped breathing by the time they carried him out. Other four passengers in the car were critically injured when they pulled them out. Blood covered them all over.”
However, when the FRSC rescue team got to the scene of the accident, all they were trying to do was to cover the code on the car. The witness said their arrival was so prompt, but when they got to the scene they evacuated their van without attending to the car it chased and forced into a fatal plunge.
He said: “There is a number on the bonnet and the side of the door. They opened the bonnet and the car door to conceal the code. If they were right, would they be doing that?”
Meanwhile, angry drivers mobilised themselves and would have attacked the FRSC official present but for the prompt intervention of five police vans who checked the irate drivers and nipped the attack in the bud.
Lamenting the death of his colleague and the unprofessionalism of the officials of the FRSC, one of the drivers, amid sobs, said: “We got here now to see the extent of the crash. Why are these FRSC officials causing deaths instead of saving lives?”