By Samuel Ama, Abakiliki
The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Friday, arraigned a 33-year-old driver, one Nwonu Chinedu, over the death of 24 passengers, he was carrying, in his bus.
The accused was the driver of the ill-fated M/Benz 608 that plunged into Eku River, in Akaeze community, in the Ivo Local Government Area of the state, with 33 passengers.
FamousReporters had reported that the passengers atteneded a burial in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state from Enugu, on September 18, 2020, and were on their way back, when the incident happened.
It was reported that about 24, out of the 33 passengers, on board the bus, died in the autocrash, which attracted heavy nationwide condemnation and consolation.
It was gathered that the suspect, who was said to be driving on high speed, committed the offence on the Akaeze Highway in the Ivo LGA of the state, on September 18, 2020.
He was arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court on three counts of murder, driving against traffic, among others, on Friday.
The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Chinedu Mbam, told the court that the offence was punishable under 27 Cap. 548 of the Road Traffic Act Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, as applicable in Ebonyi State.
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The Defense Counsel, C. Mowong, applied to the court to grant his client bail on the grounds that the incident was not intentionally committed. But the Prosecuting Counsel led by Mbam, opposed the application, citing the gravity of the incident.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs B.I. Chukwu, granted the suspect bail in the sum of N200,000.00 with one surety, who must be verifiable by the court, in like sum.
She equally directed that the surety must provide national means of identification such as National ID card or Driver’s License.
The matter was adjourned till December 2, for hearing.