A Magistrate Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State has on Monday, 11th January, 2021, sentenced Mr Adeshina Adeyemo, a tricycle operator that assaulted FRSC personnel and stripped himself naked along Benin/Sapele road in July 2020 to three-month imprisonment.
Mr. Adeyemo attacked patrol operatives and damaged the patrol vehicle belonging to the Federal Road Safety Corps.
According to the FRSC spokesperson, ACM Bisi Kazeem, Mr Adeshina was arraigned with a case file number MEV/117C/2020 before Snr Magistrate F. Ojehumen of the Evbuoriaria Magistrate Court B on a 2 count charge bothering on conducting himself in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace; and for maliciously damaging FRSC patrol vehicle during patrol operations along Sapele-Benin road on 16 July, 2020.
Giving his judgement on the matter, the defendant was found guilty as charged, but in line with the 2019 sentencing guidelines, the Magistrate noted that he was entitled to Allocutus, as such, the sentence was mitigated.
On the first count charge, the accused is to pay the sum of #5000 or 1 month imprisonment, and #41,000 or 2 months imprisonment for the second charge and both sentences are to run concurrently. The Defendant who failed to meet the option of fine has been taken into custody at the Nigeria Correctional Service in Benin City.
The spokesman said that the matter which was first presented before the Magistrate on 22 July, 2020 when the defendant pleaded not guilty, witnessed over four subsequent appearances before it was finally adjourned on 19 October, 2020 due to the EndSARS protest to 11 January, 2021 when the verdict was pronounced.
Explaining why he was prosecuted, Kazeem recalled that the rider who was apprehended for committing the offences of driving against traffic, driving without a valid driver’s license and under the influence of alcohol, went berserk at the point of arrest, stripped himself naked, and started throwing obstacles on both personnel and the patrol vehicle and at some point, even dragged the patrol operatives in uniform.
This act of incivility and disrespect to Public Officers saw him destroy the staff’s uniform and not only damaged the windscreen of the patrol car, but disfigured the bonnet and other body parts with mud and stone before he was finally arrested, detained in Etete Police Station before he was charged to Court.
Reacting to the judgement, the Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi commended the Judiciary for quick dispensation of justice, noting that this like other judgements is an indication and strong warning to perpetrator that no member of the public who damages FRSC property, no matter how small will be spared.
While lamenting the attacks on FRSC personnel which often result in loss of lives of patrol men on the highways, the Corps Marshal warned the motorists, particularly the recalcitrant who have made it habitual to attack security agencies to desist from such henceforth, or face the wrath of the law squarely.