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33-year-old Ebonyi driver arraigned for 24 passengers’ death in crash

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A 33-year-old driver, Chinedu Nwonu, Ebonyi State Police Command, on Friday, arraigned for the death of 24 passengers he was conveying in his bus.

The accused was the driver of the ill-fated Mercedes Benz 608 that plunged into the Eku River in the Akaeze community, Ivo Local Government Area of the state.

You may recall that 33 passengers of the bus attended a burial in the Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state from Enugu State on September 18, 2020, and were on their way back when the incident happened.

Twenty-four of the passengers died in the crash, which attracted nationwide mourning.

It was gathered that the suspect was driving at high speed.

Nwonu was arraigned before a magistrates’ court on three counts bordering on murder and driving against the traffic.

The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Chinedu Mbam, told the court that the offences were punishable under Section 27, Cap 548 of the Road Traffic Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as applicable in Ebonyi State.

The defence counsel, C. Mowong, pleaded with the court to grant his client bail on the grounds that the incident was not intentional, but Mbam opposed the application, citing the gravity of the incident

Chief Magistrate B. I. Chukwu, admitted the suspect to bail in the sum of N200,000 with one surety in like sum.

She directed that the surety must provide means of identification.

The matter was adjourned till December 2 for hearing.

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