The Federal High Court, Osun State has ordered the remand of a vehicle owner, Mr Kenneth Ihuoma at the Ilesha Correctional Centre, following his driver’s disappearance after violating road traffic laws.
The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO) Mr Bisi Kazeem disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
Kazeem said that the court held that the owner of a vehicle can be prosecuted for an offence committed by the driver.
He added that the owner could also be held liable to the extent of the offence committed, adding that the judgement was a fallout of an incident in Osun state.
“A branded Toyota Hiace vehicle (Good Shepherd Motors) owned by Kenneth Ihuoma with registration number EPE307XB, driven by Femi Kumuyi enroute Abuja from Lagos broke down and constituted obstructions on the highway.
“The driver was supposed to see to the trans-loading of the passengers to another vehicle and ensure that the vehicle was moved from the express along Wasimi Osun State, but did not.
“This prompted the passengers to report the incidence to the nearest FRSC Patrol team, who upon arrival removed the vehicle from the highway and subsequently towed the vehicle to Gbongan Unit Command.
“After due assessment of the vehicle, it was confirmed to be mechanically defective which necessitated the Corps to issue the driver a ticket and filed a 4-count charge against the driver before the Federal High Court,
“Bordering on operating an interstate transport service without establishing a safety unit; operating interstate transport service without route identification, mark and road obstruction.
“A suit, the owner of the vehicle vehemently objected to on the ground that the vehicle was illegally impounded,” he said.
Kazeem noted that the presiding judge, Hon. Justice O. Lifu delivered judgement in favour of the Corps and convicted Ihuoma.
He added that the judgement which favoured FRSC made the owner argue that he could not be prosecuted for an offence committed by his driver.
According to him, Kazeem explained, the position of the law on the judgement as the Court held inter alia.
“The owner of a vehicle can be prosecuted for an offence committed by the driver of the vehicle and also held liable to the extent of the offence committed, ” he said.
The Corps Marshal, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi applauded the judiciary in general and the High Court in particular for the landmark judgement.
Oyeyemi described it as a huge breakthrough that would serve as deterrence to drivers who compromise established traffic laws.
He called on passengers to always exercise their rights by always speaking out anytime they encounter such recalcitrant drivers.
He also admonished vehicle owners to ensure that their drivers were properly trained on basic road safety ideals before they were allowed to ply the road.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)