The Federal Road Safety Corps has secured a partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association for the purpose of filing civil actions against recalcitrant drivers and their employers whose bad road use culture results in injuries and fatalities.
The partnership is pursuant to concerted efforts already in place to ensure that victims of road crashes are duly compensated through established legal processes.
In a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, the Corps spokesman, Bisi Kazeem, said the two organisations sealed the agreement during a working visit of the Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, to the President, Nigerian Bar Association, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN).
It will be recalled that this is not the first time the Corps has extended partnership towards ensuring compensation for victims of road crashes.
While prosecuting the driver who killed former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Professor Festus Iyayi, the Corps secured a Memorandum of Understanding with the Falana Chambers aimed at prosecuting drivers and their employers.
Part of Biu’s reasons for the visit to NBA headquarters was to leverage on the national reach of the reputable association to ensure swift prosecution and adequate compensation for victims.
During the visit, Biu emphasised the need to bring to an end the current reign of impunity on roads by ensuring that any driver whose actions or inactions led to loss of lives or injuries of other road users was made to face the wrath of the law.
He beckoned on the President “to play proactive role by constituting a team of legal luminaries that will help stem this dangerous tide through filing of civil actions against these drivers and their employers.”
The Corps Marshal also sought the assistance of the President in reshaping the erroneous position of some States Judiciary which insist that the FRSC lacks the powers to operate on state roads.
According to him, some High Courts in a number of states had given judgement against the Corps to the effect of lack of jurisdiction. He held that road crashes could occur on all roads if not adequately prevented.
Responding to the Corps Marshal, Maikyau lauded the gesture and reaffirmed the readiness of the Nigerian Bar Association to partner with the Corps in that regard, noting that it was for the interest of the entire nation.
He assured the Corps Marshal that “the 125 branches of the Association will be directed to key into the partnership and ensure smooth handling of the cases as applicable.”
Accordingly, he directed the immediate constitution of a committee saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the obligation of bringing justice to victims of road crashes.
The Committee which is to be headed by Mr O.A Sule, SAN, has the Association’s Branch Chairmen of Suleja, Gwagwalada, Keffi, Bwari, Kwali and Abuja Municipal Area as members.