The Lagos State government has arraigned a boat driver, Happiness Elebiju, suspected to have caused the incident that led to the death of 12 passengers along the Ilashe waterfront community in the state last month.
Elebiju was arraigned on Monday on 10 counts of involuntary manslaughter before Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja.
The charge was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Olayinka Adeyemi, who told the court that the accident was caused by the defendant’s action of carrying passengers exceeding the capacity of the boat.
Adeyemi decried that the overcrowding and the illegal activities of the boat operators led to the drowning of the passengers.
The defendant, however, pleaded “not guilty” to all the counts.
The DPP asked the court to order the remand of the defendant at the correctional centre.
The DPP director also informed the trial judge that the state is ready for trial, as two prosecution witnesses are already in court to testify against the defendant.
But the defence counsel asked the court for time to prepare for the trial.
Oyefeso ordered the remand of the defendant at the correctional centre, and adjourned until Thursday for the commencement of the trial.