Thursday, January 19, 2017

Photo: Commissioner’s Driver Remanded For Beating FRSC Officials

A driver attached to the Cross River State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Calistus Okune, was on Wednesday remanded in the Afokang Prison in Calabar for assaulting two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Okune was alleged to have acted on orders of his boss, Mr. Peter Egba, after the Toyota Corolla that he was driving was impounded for several offences, including driving without using seat belt and use of fake government number plate.

The incident was said to have happened in front of a magistrate, who presided over cases of traffic offences, during a mobile court session facilitated by the FRSC.

While one of the affected FRSC officials was beaten up and had his uniforms torn by the aggrieved driver, the other had a deep cut in his head.

One of the assaulted FRSC officials, Fidelis Eteng, who spoke with Punch Metro, said trouble started after he had impounded the vehicle for the offences.

According to him, the commissioner rushed to the scene shortly after the vehicle was impounded and in the course of argument, he (commissioner) gave an order to the driver and others to “deal with” those responsible for the seizure.

He said, “We stopped the vehicle first when we noticed that he (Okune) was driving without using a seat belt. Later, we had to impound it on discovering that it bore a fake government number plate. The driver also had no driving licence. We immediately took the car to the mobile court arena where he was booked.

“Shortly afterwards, the commissioner came and started ranting.

“He said he was going to ensure that those involved would be sacked. It was while the argument was on that he ordered Okune to assault me. The commissioner himself later joined in the beating and also used stone to injure a colleague in the head.”

Angered by the disregard for judicial authority on duty, the sitting magistrate, Dorothy Duke, ordered that the driver be remanded in Afokang Prison until February 3, when the case would be heard.

Officials at the state Ministry of Justice were said to be angered by the development as the wife of the commissioner, who is a cousin to the magistrate, was said to have appeared on the scene and also confronted the magistrate.

The state Sector Commander, Mr. Ikechukwu Igwe, who condemned the action, said he had notified the Ministry of Justice and the Commissioner of Police of the development.

Igwe also showed Punch Metro letters already written to the state government over the flagrant use of fake government number plates on private vehicles owned by top officials.

Egba, however, denied giving order to his driver to assault any FRSC official.

“I went to the scene immediately because my little boy was in the vehicle. I was polite when I approached them; but before I knew it, they started pointing their fingers into my eyes and it was at that point that my driver intervened and a fight broke out. They actually tried to beat me up,” he said.

13 comments:

  1. Why should FRSC officials disrespect a state commissioner. Nonsense

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  2. Hian
    commissioner's driver feeling important

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  3. Mobile Court is alien to our laws as there's no mobile court in our judicial system. More so, the FRSC does not have the powers to impound vehicles as doing so would amount to usurping the powers of the judiciary. Save and until there is a court order authorising same, the agency can only arrest offenders and charge them to court for justice to be done. It is wrong for one person to arrest, prosecute and judge at same time.

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  4. So, Mr Eze, did the action of the driver justified the illegal power of the commission?
    May be you are new in the system but, I recommend you go and read FRSC Establishment Act, 2007. You are talking about our judicial system, have you forgot about powers given to respective commissions, eg. FRSC by the Act of the National Assembly?

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  5. Untamed Road safety officials needs guns to kill motorist. They won't find towing van to clear the road of broken down vehicle. This was their match they deserves more beatings

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  6. With all the revenue frsc is making through frivolous charges each state command shld have a super tow truck and a crane to clear our roads of broken dwn trucks, vehicle and road carnage. But that isn't the case here. All they do is victimize motorist with their high handedness.

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  7. That commisioner deserve some respect no matter what. He arrived the scene an politely approached the officers who eventually look down on him. There are so lucky working in such a trouble free state. I'm sure there can't prove it that that man just stood still while his uniform was being turned. Please do a thorough investigation. That uniform his wearing is a product of our task.

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