A man, Fatai Salami, whose articulated vehicle was impounded by Ogun State traffic officials and was fined N215, 000 for violating the COVID -19 law, committed suicide right in their office.
Salami allegedly drank killer insecticide (Snipper) at the State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) office in Abeokuta over non-release of his vehicle after several days of pleas.
“He was rushed to the General Hospital Ijaiye and at the hospital, he gave up. So the case had been reported at Ibara police station here in Abeokuta,” Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, spokesman for TRACE, said.
It was gathered that the deceased’s truck was seized from his driver in Abeokuta on Thursday for flouting COVID-19 social distancing and face mask protocol.
Akinbiyi, however, insisted that the deceased was neither a truck owner nor a driver.
“The man was neither a truck driver nor a truck owner. One of our commanders and people around saw him sitting on the floor and they asked him to stand up.
” As he stood up, he brought out something from his pocket and drank it.
“We later discovered that it was Snipper he drank. One of his bosses saw him attempting to drink it and screamed, but before help could come, he had drunk it,” he said. He also denied that TRACE fined the deceased N215,000 for flouting the COVID-19 law but admitted that the deceased was the manager of a fleet of trucks.
He said: “That is a lie, it is not true. It was later we found out that he was a manager of a fleet of trucks owned by somebody else and one of the trucks was penalised for violating traffic rules.
”We also gathered that the owner of the truck had warned him to ensure he returns with the truck or risk sack. ”Who knows, maybe that is why he killed himself. It is so sad and unfortunate.
“He was neither a driver nor a truck owner, what he came here to do we don’t know. A whole lot of them usually come into the premises.
“If you commit a traffic infraction, you have to be fined and if you think that what you are being charged is on the high side or you are being charged wrongly, you have the right to seek redress which we also entertain and encourage.”