A Magistrate Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State on January 11, 2021 sentenced Adeyemo Adeshina, a tricycle operator that assaulted operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps and stripped himself naked along Benin/Sapele Road in July 2020 to three months imprisonment for the attack and damaging of their patrol vehicle.
This development was confirmed by the spokesman of the FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, in a statement on Thursday.
Kazeem said Adeshina was arraigned with case file number MEV/117C/2020 before Senior Magistrate F. Ojehumen of the Evbuoriaria Magistrate Court B on a two count charge bordering on conducting himself in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace and for maliciously damaging FRSC patrol vehicle during patrol operations along Sapele-Benin Road on July 16, 2020.
The defendant was found guilty as charged, but in line with the 2019 sentencing guidelines, the Magistrate noted that he was entitled to Allocutus.
As such, the sentence was mitigated.
On the first count charge, the accused is to pay N5000 or one month imprisonment, and N41,000 or two months imprisonment for the second charge.
Both sentences are to run concurrently.
The defendant, who failed to meet the option of fine, has been taken into custody at the Nigeria Correctional Service in Benin City.
The spokesman said the matter, which was first presented before the judge on July 22, 2020 when the defendant pleaded not guilty, witnessed over four subsequent appearances before it was finally adjourned on October 19, 2020 due to the #EndSARS protest to January 11, 2021 when the verdict was pronounced.
Explaining why he was prosecuted, Kazeem recalled that the rider, who was apprehended for committing the offences of driving against traffic, driving without a valid drivers license and under the influence of alcohol, went berserk at the point of arrest, stripped himself naked, and started throwing obstacles on both personnel and the patrol vehicle and at some point, even dragged the patrol operatives in uniform.
This act of incivility and disrespect to Public Officers saw him destroy the staff’s uniform and not only damaged the windscreen of the patrol car, but disfigured the bonnet and other body parts with mud and stone before he was finally arrested, detained in Etete Police Station before charging him to Court.
Reacting to the judgement, the Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, commended the Judiciary for quick dispensation of justice, noting that this, like other judgements, is an indication and strong warning to perpetrators that no member of the public who damages FRSC property, no matter how small, will be spared.
While lamenting the attacks on FRSC personnel, which often result in loss of lives of patrolmen on the highways, the Corps Marshal warned the motoring community, particularly the recalcitrants who have made it habitual to attack security agents, to desist from such henceforth or face the wrath of the law squarely.