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Learner driver kills taxi operator in Benin City

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

There was tragedy early Wednesday morning in Benin City, Edo state, following the death of seven persons, including a commercial taxi driver and father of three as they were crushed by a learner driver. The learner is said to be a nurse who works at a hospital along Airport Road in the city.

Eyewitness, Itohan Obasogie, said the learner and her husband were returning from the testing ground in Ugbowo main gate after a 2-hour learning when few metres to the medical centre, the woman insisted in driving the car herself into the premises as a way of showing to her co- workers that she was learning faster.

It was gathered that her request was rejected by her husband who feared she might not be able to safely drive into the hospital considering her proficiency level. She was said to have insisted and, to avoid any quarrel, the husband was said to have yielded.

The woman took over the steering of the car and, in her attempt to navigate the bend into the hospital, ran into the commercial taxi driver, knocking and crushing him to death. A mob was said to have been besieged the hospital premises intent on burning down the car and hospital but this was aborted by soldiers positioned at the hospital gate.

A worker at the hospital who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, described the incident as unfortunate adding that “The doctors battled to ensure the commercial taxi driver was saved, but to no avail, to our shock.”

The police public relations officer in the state, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the incident, said that the victim died of internal bleeding as confirmed by doctors, adding that the woman and her husband summitted to the police who rescued them from the mob.

He disclosed: “We were told that the nurse is staff of the FaithMediplex Centre who is still a learner and unfortunately, knocked down a commercial taxi driver who had attempted to pick up his car to join the queue of the drivers who were struggling to load passengers in the area. The corpse had been deposited at the hospital’s mortuary for further investigation while the Nurse who was earlier arrested after submitting herself, was released immediately”

A sister of the deceased, Mrs Esther Obakpolo, who spoke to our correspondent said “The death of our brother was very shocking when we were told that a nurse learner knocked him down when he wanted to cross after eating in a restaurant. We have lost our brother and he left behind three children who are not grown up to care for themselves.”

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