The Ogun State Government has clear the air over the death of a motor boy in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
In a statement by the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Public Relations Officer (M&S), Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, said the motor boy who was crushed to death by a truck was neither arrested by the state taskforce nor was he in the patrol van at the time of the accident.
Akinbiyi said a Truck was arrested for violating the curfew order in the state and was subsequently apprehended by the taskforce.
He said: “To put the record straight, the motorboy in question was neither arrested by Ogun State Task Force Team nor was he in its patrol vehicle where it was alleged he fell off from before he gave up the ghost.
From our investigations, the Task Force Team constituted by the State Government and made up of the POLICE, TRACE and the VIO, to enforce its lockdown and curfew order was on its legitimate duty in the wee hours of Tuesday, 18th August, 2020, at the Water Junction of the Abeokuta-Kobape-Siun-Interchange Expressway, where a truck was apprehended for violating the curfew order.”
Read the full statement below:
ALLEGED DEATH OF A MOTORBOY IN OGUN STATE TASK FORCE PATROL VAN AND CONSEQUENT VANDALISATION AND ASSAULT ON THE DIVISIONAL TRACE COMMAND ABEOKUTA.
The pandemonium caused by truck drivers belonging to the Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), due to the alleged death of a motorboy in Ogun State Task Force Patrol Van, while on transit, after haven’t been apprehended for violating the curfew order of government from 10pm (2200hrs) – 4am (0400hrs) has been brought to the attention of TRACE Corps.
To put the record straight, the motorboy in question was neither arrested by Ogun State Task Force Team nor was he in its patrol vehicle where it was alleged he fell off from before he gave up the ghost.
From our investigations, the Task Force Team constituted by the State Government and made up of the POLICE, TRACE and the VIO, to enforce it’s lockdown and curfew order was on its legitimate duty in the wee hours of Tuesday, 18th August, 2020, at the Water Junction of the Abeokuta-Kobape-Siun-Interchange Expressway, where a truck was apprehended for violating the curfew order.
A TRACE Corps operative was thereafter instructed to lead the truck driver to the parking lot where apprehended vehicles are parked. But instead of going back, inbound Abeokuta, the truck driver decided to go outbound Abeokuta facing Sagamu with the uniform TRACE operative held in captive with him in the truck to an unknown destination.
This action led the Ogun State Task Force Team to trail the truck driver. While in its pursuit, the team noticed a body lying on the road but still went after the truck. However before approaching Paramount fm, the TRACE operative held in captive in the truck was noticed by the road side in a pool of blood, probably as a result of being thrown off the truck while on transit.
On the return journey back to Abeokuta after the rescue, another truck who violated the curfew order was noticed from afar. But on sighting the Ogun State Task Force Team, the truck driver started driving recklessly so as to evade arrest and in the process hit the Police Patrol Van attached to the Ogun State Task Force Team before running over the body that was sighted on the road by the team while pursuing the runaway truck with the kidnapped TRACE operative.
TRACE Corps hereby confirms that the motorboy in question was the body noticed on the road and which was also crushed by the truck driver who was trying to evade arrest on sighting the Ogun State Task Force Team while driving inbound Abeokuta after haven’t rescued the kidnapped TRACE operative.
Unfortunately, this incident led the truck drivers and some of their owners as well as union executives to go on a rampage by blocking roads, causing mayhem and vandalizing property at the Divisional TRACE Command, Abeokuta, as well as, the Ogun State Parking Management Office, where they also assaulted operatives on ground, carting away cash and other valuables.
While TRACE Corps condole and commiserate with the family of the deceased motorboy, the Corps wishes to register her displeasure, dissatisfaction and disapproval of the violent vandalisation and assault of the TOAN drivers and its owners including union executives on its Abeokuta Divisional Command Office and would pursue the case to a logical conclusion.
Nevertheless, the Corps reiterates that it would continue to carry out its legitimate duty and responsibility by being civil, humane, professional and firm, where need be, regardless of threats, blackmail and intimidation.
Cdr Babatunde Akinbiyi.
TRACE Corps PRO (M&S)
For: TRACE Corps Commander/CE.
Tuesday, 18th August, 2020.