Danladi Baba, the driver whose careless driving led to the death of former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Mr. Festus Iyayi, in an auto crash on the Lokoja- Abuja Highway was on Friday sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a Magistrate Court in Lokoja.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Alhassan Husaini said the sentence was without an option of fine.
While giving judgment, the Magistrate noted that the high rate of road accidents in the country is caused by the likes of Baba even as he admonished other drivers who engage in reckless driving to take cue from his predicament.
He added that appropriate punishments will be meted out to anyone found guilty of lawlessness on Nigerian roads.
The Magistrate said: “I have no option than to sentence you, Danladi Baba, to seven years’ imprisonment without an option of fine
“These siren-blaring convoys force oncoming and other categories of vehicles off the roads in a manner that exposes law-abiding road users to hazard.
“What is regrettable in this case is the serious abuse of the privilege of late by VIP convoys.
The former ASUU chairman was killed in the road accident on his way to the National Executive Meeting of ASUU on November 13, 2013.
He was in the company of two others, including Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Iloh who was injured in the accident.
The prosecutor had argued that Mr. Baba recklessly drove a Toyota Hilux van belonging to the Kogi State Government on the convoy of the then-Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada, without regard for other road users.
He collided head-on with the Toyota Hiace belonging to the University of Benin chapter of ASUU travelling to Kano, said the lawyer for the commissioner of Police of Edo state who prosecuted the case
Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps has commended the judgment. In a statement, Bisi Kazeem who spoke on behalf of the Corps said the Corps Marshall, FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, applauded the judiciary for ensuring that families of victims of road traffic crashes get necessary justice for the loss of their loved ones.
Mr. Oyeyemi was quoted in the statement as further assuring the public that erring drivers will now face appropriate sanctions while urging the motoring public to always abide by established rules and desist from any act that will lead to loss of lives on the roads.