OSHIOMHOLE CONVOY ACCIDENT: TRUCK OWNER, DRIVER ARE ACN MEMBERS - POLICE
The Police have disclosed that the owner of the truck that rammed into Governor Adams Oshiomhole's convoy on April 28, this year, along Auchi-Warrake Road, Salisu Danjuma, and the driver of the truck, John Michael, are members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State.
This was one of the 18 findings contained in a report by the Police upon which they charged the duo of Danjuma and Michael before an Afuze Magistrate Court in the state on Thursday, last week, with conspiracy and murder of three journalists in the convoy, namely: George Okosun Olatunji Jacob of Independent Television (ITV) and Fidelis Okhani of African Independent Television (AIT)
The report said that 'the suspicion that this accident may have been the handiwork of political opponents of the governor was thoroughly investigated and so far, there is no evidence whatsoever to support such suspicion.'
It, however, stated that 'in the absence of any conspiratorial evidence whatsoever, it may be illogical to assume that members of the governor's party (ACN) arranged and executed the incident of the April 28 involving the governor and his entourage.'
According to the report, the Police quizzed three suspects, including Michael (driver), Agho Awen (the truck conductor) and one Thomas Irivboye (who was suspected to have made implicating statements about the incident), and added that eight other persons who were invited and interrogated in the course of investigation volunteered useful statements.
Those interrogated included, DSP Adekoye Ezekiel (Escort Commander of Governor Oshiomhole's convoy), Danjuma (owner of tipper truck), Dr. Bruno Oshionebo (Chairman Transition Committee, Etsako West LGA), Olorunimbe Ozemoye (contractor to Etsako West LGA), Benedict Momoh (sub-contractor who engaged tipper driver), Hon. Patrick Imokhai (Special Assistant on Security to Chairman, Transition Committee, Etsako West LGA), Cpl Isa Abdullahi (IPO from Auchi Division) and Mr. Vincent Osawaru (Vehicle Inspection Officer, Auchi).
The report quoted Danjuma to have admitted being a member of ACN and knowing Olorunimbe Ozemoya, Benedict Momoh and Michael (Truck driver) as members of ACN.
The truck driver (Michael) was reported to have admitted that 'on his way after he had taken one trip of laterite to the site along Warrake road, he suddenly sighted the headlights of vehicles on convoy coming towards him from opposite direction but there was no sound of siren.'
The report quoted him to have said that on sighting the convoy, he became cautious and veered off the road to the right side of the road to give way to the convoy, but as he tried to control the vehicle to the road, the steering suddenly hooked and he immediately applied the brakes but the brakes failed as a result of which he rammed into the convoy of the vehicles which he later discovered was that of the governor of Edo State.
The report stated: 'According to him, before he could realize what was happening he jammed two of the vehicles in the convoy- Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep with reg. No EDGH 274 and Toyota Hiace Bus with reg. No. AH 136 AFZ as a result of which three persons died.
'He also said that when the accident occurred, he managed to come out of the accidented vehicle but for fear that he might be lynched by the governor's escort, he ran to Auchi Police Station and reported himself.
'He further stated that he had no intention of killing anyone and denied being sent or hired by any person(s) to kill the governor or any member of his entourage for that matter.'
The report also said that 'he admitted that the road worthiness Certificate of the vehicle had expired since 2007.'
In their findings, the Police said that 'a visit to the scene of the accident and careful reconstruction of the incident in the course of investigation, clearly revealed that the driver of the tipper lorry, John Michael 'm', was reckless, negligent and unprofessional in the way and manner he operated his vehicle resulting to the multiple casualty and injuries to persons.'
The Police further said in the report that 'the investigation also revealed that the road worthiness Certificate of the Tipper lorry with Registration number XB 129 KNE expired since the 31st of August, 2007, to the knowledge of the driver and the owner who deliberately refused/neglected to renew same without cogent reasons.'