The Lagos State Government has arraigned a boat driver, Happiness Elebiju, suspected to have caused the incident that killed 12 persons on-board a commercial boat along the Ilashe waterfront community in the state in July.
Channels Television reported that Elebiju was arraigned on 10 counts of involuntary manslaughter before Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja on Monday.
The charge was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, who told the court that the accident was caused by the defendant’s action of carrying passengers exceeding the capacity of the boat.
Adeyemi decried that the overcrowding and the illegal activities of boat operators led to the drowning of the 12 passengers.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts.
Thereafter, the DPP asked the court to order the remand of the defendant at the correctional centre.
She also informed the trial judge that the state was ready for trial as two prosecution witnesses were already in court to testify against the defendant.
The defence counsel, however, asked the court for time to prepare for the trial.
In her ruling, Justice Oyefeso ordered the remand of the defendant at the correctional centre and adjourned until Thursday for the commencement of the trial.