A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana has accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Managing Director (MD) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Fidet Okhiria of negligence in the attack on a train plying the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.
He is also calling for their prosecution, according to a statement he issued on Monday.
The legal practitioner referenced reports of attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line and accused the corporation and Amaechi of not taking enough measures to forestall the latest incident.
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“Although both Messrs Amaechi and Okhiria knew that the Abuja-Kaduna train was not safe they kept on giving passengers a false sense of security.
“Since both of them knew that the tragedy that befell the nation last week was waiting to happen and did not adopt measures to prevent it, the President should direct the Inspector-General of Police to investigate and prosecute them for criminal negligence.
“Meanwhile, both of them should not be allowed to continue to risk the lives of train passengers in the country.”
He said contrary to claims by the NRC that there is no fraud in the sales of train tickets, a ticket racketeering syndicate was arrested in 2019. Since then, he said the NRC has not been able to crack down on other syndicates operating in the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan train stations.
According to him, the corporation and the ministry is legally bound to bear the cost of treatment for those injured during the incident.
“It is indisputable that the loss of lives, personal injury, and abduction of passengers by the terrorists was caused ‘by want of reasonable care, diligence or skill on the part of the Corporation or its servants’,” he maintained.
“In other words, top officials of the Nigerian Railway Corporation and the Ministry of Transportation are liable for the criminal negligence that caused the bomb attack.”