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Otedola Update: Police arrest owner of truck, victims DNA release

Otedola Update: Police arrest owner of truck, victims DNA release

Detectives from the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation And Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti Yaba, assigned to investigate the fatal accident which occurred on the popular Otedola Bridge on June 28, have arrested the truck owner, Hassan Yusuf Maiwake. 

The arrest emerged on a day the Lagos State Government said it had released the result of the DNA forensic examination conducted on the unidentified victims who were burnt beyond recognition in the tanker explosion close to the Lagos end of the sprawling Lagos-Ibadan expressway. 

The truck, with registration number NSR 888 YQ and driven by a yetto- be identified suspect, was laden with 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) when the monumental incident was recorded. It was gathered that the truck lost control, spilling its content before going up in flames, leading to the killing of at least nine persons and the burning of not less than 56 vehicles.
An update released by the Lagos State Police Command signed by the command’s spokesperson, CSP Chike Oti, said: “The owner of the truck, Hassan Maikwe of No.16 Hotoro Limawa, Kano State, was arrested yesterday (July 26, 2018). “The truck owner is an indigene of Kano State and he is now helping the police in its efforts to locate the driver of the ill-fated truck.”

The state’s Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal, while speaking on the development, affirmed their readiness to ensure anyone found culpable is brought to book and to help families who lost loved ones in the accident find closure.

“DNA test to ascertain the true identities of the charred remains of the victims is ongoing. Further development will be communicated to Lagosians,” the CP stated.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government, while unfolding details of the DNA test, said it would today begin the process of releasing corpses of victims to their families for burial while describing the feat as the first DNA forensic analysis to be locally conducted in the nation’s history in the shortest possible time. 

Briefing journalists on the development, the state’s Commissioners for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the DNA forensic examination had been concluded. According to him, all recovered victims’ remains were taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), with samples of the incident picked up by the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre, LSD & FCfrom LASUTH Forensic Pathologists under secured chain of custody. 

“Based on the DNA analysis performed at the LSD and FC, all victims’ samples were successfully matched to relatives’ samples. Nine bodies have been successfully matched to nine families out of the 11 families that showed up at the LSD&FC.

“They are now ready to be handed over to the rightful families for necessary burial arrangements. Collection of these remains will commence from 10am today at the Seminar Room of the Pathology and Forensic Medicine Department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. “This was the first time that unidentifiable victims of a mass disaster had been successfully identified locally using DNA technology.

The state government, through the Ministry of Health and the Lagos State DNA and Forensic Centre completed this identification process in less than four weeks after the incident as against the over six months when the practice was to take samples abroad for analysis.” He explained that the sample of one of the victims was conveyed in two sacks, giving the impression that 10 bodies were burnt beyond recognition while saying the medical care of those injured was still ongoing at government hospitals at the expense of the state government. In all, he added that 10 patients were admitted at government and private hospitals, out of which two died, three have been discharged and five others still receiving treatment.

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