The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, paraded a commercial boat operator, Bimbo Elebiju, for allegedly causing the death of 12 passengers while conveying them to their destinations.
The victims were reported to have drowned after the wave of a ship sailing along the Kirikiri waterfront made the boat, which engine had been switched off during an argument between the operator and his passengers over the fare, to capsize.
Odumosu, while parading Bimbo at the command headquarters in Ikeja, said 20 passengers boarded the boat from Kirikiri to Badagry, but while on the way, the passengers disagreed with the helmsman on the fare.
Odumosu said Bimbo indicated that the fare was N1,500, but the passengers insisted on paying N1,200, adding that the helmsman switched off the engine of the boat by the waterfront because of the N300 difference in fare.
He stated that when the ship sailed along, the wave made the boat to drift towards a stationary barge, where it capsized, adding that Bimbo jumped into the water, abandoned his passengers and escaped.
While five passengers were rescued, the CP said 10 others drowned, adding that the rescued passengers gave an account of Bimbo’s action before the tragedy struck.
He said Bimbo was trailed and arrested, adding that he would be charged.
Odumosu stated, “On July 29, 2020, around 5.45pm, our marine operatives received a distress call that a commercial boat with the inscription: ‘Mount Zion Transport’, fitted with 150HP Yamaha outboard engine, which was conveying 20 passengers from Kirikiri to Badagry, drifted towards a stationary barge and capsized along the Kirikiri waterfront.
“Five passengers were rescued, while 12 corpses were recovered. Three people are still missing.
The helmsman, Bimbo Elebiju, swam to safety. Investigation revealed that the accident was caused by the deliberate act of the helmsman. There was an argument between the deckhand and the passengers as to the transport fare.
“Bimbo insisted on N1,500 per passenger and the passengers said they would only pay N1,200 each. Because of the N300 difference, the helmsman turned off the engine on a turbulent waterfront.
A big ship passed and stirred the water, creating a wave that made the boat to drift towards the stationary barge. The suspect was trailed to his hideout and arrested after the survivors of the accident gave the true account of what happened. He will be charged.”