The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has proposed training for judges to enhance their adjudication in road crash cases brought to their courts.
The Acting CJN is proposing the training as part of efforts at tackling the recklessness of most Nigerian drivers, as well as find justice for victims of road crashes as well as their dependents.
Justice Ariwoola was speaking at the 11th edition of the Kwapda’as Samson Rangna’am Dongban (KRSD) Annual Road Safety Press Conference, which was held weekend in Abuja.
The conference was aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on the need to adhere to safety policies and guidelines on the country’s roads.
“My concern here is the training of judicial officers on issues pertaining to road safety,” he said, adding that: “bearing in mind the effect of road crash cases and victims, especially on family and dependants”.
The CJN disclosed that modalities would immediately be put in place for the National Judicial Institute (NJI) to commence the training which would be done in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
While recalling how he lost an aide, the CJN advised the public to always come to the aid of road crash victims, stressing that: “If immediate care was provided, many victims would not have died.”
Earlier, the founder of KRSD Foundation and President, Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-mensem, while referring to a recent report, stated that the socio-economic impacts of road crashes and related injuries are not only harming Africa’s development but also affecting the livelihood of countless African families, especially in Nigeria.
“It is estimated that in Nigeria, more than 6,000 people die from road traffic crashes and many sustain serious injuries. According to the statistics provided by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), every four hours, no fewer than two people die on Nigerian roads,” she said.
Dongban-mensem, who lost a son to a road accident some years back, however, argued that road safety is not for the government alone to pursue and called for support from individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“The contributions of NGOs, private and corporate organizations towards achieving the goal of reducing road safety deaths and serious injuries is very important,” she said.
While she urged corporate organizations to channel their corporate social responsibilities (CSR) towards road safety advocacy, sensitization, and campaign, the Appeal Court president advised Africa to look inwards and draw its peculiar plan for road safety.