4th December, 2013
The police in Lagos State, western Nigeria, have charged to court a member of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement, Mr. Lawrence Nwandu, who drove the tipper involved in an accident in which 13 people were killed along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway last month.
Nwandu was arraigned on Tuesday before the Oshodi Magistrates’ Court on a three-count charge of negligence, malicious damage and causing injury under the Criminal Code.
The first count read: “That you, Lawrence on 19 November, 2013 did negligently drive a truck with registration number JJJ 824 XD belonging to the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Renewal Movement at Ijesha and caused the death of the victims.”
According to the charge sheet, those who died in the accident included Ifeoma Amagun, 39, Hammed Ibrahim, 35, Taiwo Adesanya, 56, Ester Tella and Folake Fashina, 39.
The police also alleged that Nwandu caused the death of a pregnant woman, Omolara Lawal, 38 and aborted her pregnancy.
The police prosecutor further alleged that Nwandu wounded Emma Iyere and this led to the amputation of one of his legs.
The prosecutor told the court that Nwandu, while driving a tipper on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway injured Margaret Adeleke, Naijim Lamidi, Akeem Salau and Sikiru Abidemi.
Nwandu was also alleged to have damaged two LT buses with registration numbers XX 609 FST and XK 959 EPE, a mass transit bus with registration number KDC 166 KE and a jeep with registration number KSF 581 AV.
When he was arraigned, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs. A. Ipaye-Nwachukwu who stood in for Magistrate A. A Fashola granted him bail in the sum of N1m with two sureties in like sum.
One of the sureties, she directed, must be a blood relation while the other must be a senior pastor at the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Renewal Movement.
The court also ordered the prosecutor to duplicate his file and send it to the DPP for advice.
The matter was adjourned to 16 January, 2014.
Nwandu was remanded in prison custody at the Kirikiri Prisons, Lagos, pending the fulfillment of the conditions attached to his bail.