5 year-old girl dies, 9 passengers sustain injuries in bus fire

A five-year old girl died on Sunday on Iwo Road, Ibadan, when a bus in which she was travelling with other nine passengers caught fire.

A senior officer of the Oyo State Fire Service, Olayinka Olunike, said the bus caught fire when it ran on the petrol spilled by a tanker involved in an accident.

She told journalists that while other occupants of the bus, marked LAGOS XL 648 GGE, escaped with injuries, the girl got trapped and died.

Mrs Olunike, however, blamed motorists and onlookers for not heeding the advice of the service in the event of fire outbreak.

“This would not have happened if they had taken to our warning because we warn motorists and motorcyclists to desist from driving on any spillage but they would not listen.

“We were in control of the spillage for about two hours before the bus came and ignited the fire with its exhaust pipe; it was the fire from the bus that eventually ignited the tanker,” she said.

According to her, the fire has been properly extinguished but the Fire Service would be at alert until the fuel in the tanker is decanted.

“The spillage was caused by one of the three tanks of the tanker marked KANO XF 380 DAL and we are at alert until the fuel in the two other tanks is decanted,’’ Olunike said.

Accident on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway kills one

A female pedestrian was crushed to death on Thursday morning by a container that fell from a moving trailer, at the Berger area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway .

The trailer was heading out of Lagos around 7a.m when it lost one of its tyres, making the driver to lose control of the truck.

As he struggled to regain control of the truck, it tipped over to its right side.

As the truck fell, it landed on the woman, who was walking beside the road, in search of a commercial bus to her destination.

The unnamed woman died instantly while a gridlock formed on the outbound Lagos side of the busy expressway for hours.

Traffic officials are currently at the scene trying to lift the truck and its container with a crane back on the trailer’s tyres.


Court asked to revoke Lagos-Ibadan Expressway concession to Bi-Courtney

The Federal High Court in Lagos has been asked to revoke the concession agreement between the Federal Government and Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited on the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The suit was filed on Tuesday, by two individuals, Mr Olawale Fapohunda and Mr Richard Akinola, along with their group, Legal Resources Consortium.

The plaintiff contended that incessant accidents and destruction of lives and properties on the road “are direct consequences of Bi-Courtney’s negligence and failure to execute the contract” awarded since 2009.

In the originating summons filed by their counsel, Norrison Quakers, the lawyer set five questions for the court’s determination and sought five declarative reliefs.

Jointly sued by the plaintiffs are the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Minister of Works, Attorney-General of the Federation, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency and Bi-Courtney.

The plaintiffs contend that the court reserves the power to revoke the concession “for non-performance, occasioning gridlock and incessant destruction of lives and properties along the expressway.”

They are also seeking an order of mandatory injunction, compelling the government, the Minister of Works,  and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to “immediately repair and maintain the Lagos-Ibadan expressway sequel to their obligations, legal and statutory duties so as to stem or curb the gridlock and destruction of lives and properties on the expressway.”

The 105-kilometre highway was conceded to Bi-Courtney in a public private partnership policy of late President Umaru Musau Yar’Adua, in May 2009.

The road, stretching from Lagos to Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, through Ogun state, has become a nightmare for its users as tankers loaded with petrol frequently trip on the pot-hole ridden road, causing huge carnage, claiming dozens of lives.

Since signing the agreement, Bi-Courtney has failed to construct the road which is one of the nation’s most important highway, linking the Southern region of the country to the east.

Regular obstruction of traffic is also a common feature on the narrow expressway, with several religious organisations, setting up their camps by the expressway.