Photo credit: TheGuardian
There was pandemonium in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Monday when a man identified as Fatai Salami drank an insecticide and died at the premises of Ogun Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that Salami was allegedly asked to pay a fine of N215,000 for violating the COVID-19 protocol in the state. Salami’s truck was seized by officials of TRACE and in the custody of the traffic management agency in Abeokuta for five days over an alleged N215,000 fine.
Sources told NAN that TRACE officials seized the deceased’s truck from his driver in Abeokuta on Thursday for flouting the social distancing order and failure to use face masks. He was said to have followed his driver to the premises of TRACE to plead for the release of the truck.
Frustrated by the non-release of the vehicle, it was gathered, the man opted to drink the poisonous substance.
Public Relations Officer of TRACE, Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the death in the premises of TRACE in Abeokuta. Akinbiyi, however, insisted that the deceased was neither a truck owner nor a driver.
“One of our commanders and people around saw him sitting on the floor and they asked him to stand up. As he stood up, he brought out something from his pocket and drank it. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Ijaiye, and at the hospital, he gave up,” he said.
He denied the allegation that TRACE fined the deceased N215,000 for flouting the COVID-19 law. “It is not true. It was later we found out that he was a manager of a fleet of trucks owned by somebody else and one of the trucks was penalised for violating traffic rules. We gathered that the owner of the truck had warned him to ensure he returns with the truck or risk sack.
“Who knows, maybe that was why he killed himself. It is so sad and unfortunate. He was neither a driver nor a truck owner. What he came here to do, we don’t know. If you commit a traffic infraction, you have to be fined and if you think that the charge is on the high side or you are being charged wrongly, you have the right to seek redress, which we also entertain,” he said.