The tribunal of inquiry into a road traffic accident and the consequent arson and vandalism of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles on July 4, 2014 in Lagos State, on Monday submitted its findings to Governor Babatunde Fashola, accusing soldiers of perpetrating the act.
It would be recalled that on September 8, 2014 the Lagos State Government inaugurated a three-man tribunal chaired by Justice Ebenezer Adebajo (retd) to investigate the cause of the incident which occurred at the Palmgrove axis of Ikorodu road in the state.
Adebajo, while reading the tribunal findings yesterday, said, â€œThe accident occurred on July 3, 2014, when a soldier â€“ late Lance Corporal Matthew Ishaya â€“ ran his motorcycle, with registration number, MUS-565 QB, into a stationary BRT bus, MO63, at the Palmgrove bus stop on the Ikorodu Roadâ€.
He noted that the accident occurred outside the BRT corridor, adding, â€œthe soldier caused his deathâ€.
Explaining how the accident occurred, the chairman said, â€œThe BRT was stationary on the highway as a result of low fuel supply. The BRT bus was left on the highway longer than necessary.
â€œThe late soldier rode his motorcycle without a helmet. This action is against Section 3 (3) of the Road Traffic Law 2012â€.
The retired justice stated that the discovery of Ishayaâ€™s corpse on July 4, 2014, led to the mayhem.
He said, â€œExtensive vandalism, burning of BRT buses, destruction of personal phones, harassment of innocent citizens which followed the death of the soldier were caused by soldiers of the 9th Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ikeja Cantonment.
â€œFor perpetrating this act, the tribunal has recommended that apology should be demanded by the Governor of Lagos State from the Nigerian Army. The Nigerian Army should, on behalf of the 9th Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, Ikeja, apologise in writing to the people of Lagos State. And it should be published in at least two national newspapersâ€.
Responding, Fashola said, â€œWe will act on the recommendation and learn from it. And very soon, we will issue a whitepaper on it. It will communicate governmentâ€™s stance on the recommendation and the action that will follow.
â€œThe protection of life and property remain the principal reason for governmentâ€™s existence. Whenever such occurrence that happened on July 4, 2014 occur, we must do everything to ensure that they it doesnâ€™t occur againâ€.