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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Ocholi’s driver had licence - FRSC is processing renewal!

Contrary to the interim report of the investigations of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) into the accident in which the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi, his wife and son died, it has emerged that the driver of the ill-fated vehicle, Taiwo James Elegbede, actually had a driver’s licence.

Some of the other drivers at the transport department of the Ministry of Labour and Employment claim that Taiwo is a licensed driver and has served the ministry for about 25 years.

The FRSC had claimed that Taiwo had no licence as his name was not found on the database of the organisation.
But the sources, who are Taiwo’s colleagues at the ministry, faulted the FRSC’s pronouncement.

They also claimed that the Lexus 570 SUV in which the minister died was given to the ministry by the presidency through the office of the Head of Service.

They claimed further that when the vehicle in question was released from the presidency, they were not allowed to examine it in order to determine its condition before putting it to the late minister’s use.

They argued that the vehicle was not one of theirs and as such, there was the need for it to go through maintenance before being used for such a long journey as the one that eventually turned fatal last Sunday.

A senior colleague of Taiwo, who did not want to be named, told our reporter that he and others were disappointed at the statement of the FRSC’s Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi.

According to him, the FRSC boss was at the ministry to meet with the officials on Wednesday, but he was surprised at Boboye’s statement at the Federal Executive Council meeting as it was contrary to “what he told us.”

Taiwo, according to his colleagues, was a Higher Works Superintendent and was highly professional on his job.
They said he had also gone for a mechanical/electrical engineering course at the training school in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

They also attested to his character as a committed staff member who adhered to the ethics of his job.
For example, they said Taiwo drove one of the permanent secretaries in the ministry, Dr Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, for more than eight years without any incident.

“In fact, when Mama Agary left the ministry, she still requested for his service because Taiwo is very good. He was released and was with the former permanent secretary for almost six years after she had left this ministry, until we said ‘enough is enough’ and recalled him,” one of his colleagues said.

He showed photocopies of all the staff members’ driver’s licence, including Taiwo’s, which he, however, said expired on January 15, 2016 along with some of his colleagues’ and that they had all gone to renew them since the last two months “but the process is being delayed as usual” by the FRSC.

“To say that Taiwo has no driver’s licence is very unfortunate. Yes, this is the copy. It expired in January and we have already started the renewal process, but the FRSC would tell you that you can only get a new one three months after you apply. Even if they say this one is fake, they should ask themselves, because it is produced by them and it is their property. They should tell us how and why,” the source said.

He accused the FRSC of making such a damaging pronouncement against Taiwo, who was injured in the accident, in order to blame him for the crash.

His colleagues said Taiwo has chest pain and is still lying ill at the hospital and, therefore, it is not true that he was the one who took pictures that was circulated on social media.

Source: tribuneonlineng

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