By Chiemelie Ezeobi and Ada Igboanugo
The female banker with Stanbic IBTC , Mrs Yinka Johnson, accused of allegedly crushing to death 33-year-old Hammed Balogun, a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) official last Friday, Saturday maintained her innocence, blaming her travails on LASTMA officials, whom, she said, were out to use her as a scapegoat.
Speaking with THISDAY behind the counter at the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba where she and her three-month-old baby, Debby, were detained, she said she was not even aware of the accident as she was still talking with the LASTMA officials until she was informed that one of their officials had been mown down by a commercial bus popularly called Danfo.
Lamenting her fate, the banker whom THISDAY learnt had just resumed work after the compulsory three months maternity leave before the unfortunate incident, said: “My baby has been crying because of hunger and I cannot even feed her well here. I still have my stitches from the caesarean operation. All these I have been battling with now.”
Although she admitted to driving against traffic, Johnson said where the deceased was crushed was few metres away from where her vehicle was parked, adding that there were no blood stains on her car to show that she crushed someone as claimed.
She said, “I was driving on Lekki-Epe Expressway trying to navigate to the other side of the road when I was accosted by a LASTMA official. Although the road I took was a one-way road, residents of Ikota Estate usually take it because of the on-going road reconstruction on the alternative road. While I was discussing with the LASTMA official, a vehicle crushed another official a few metres away, thereby causing a commotion.”
She said she was still talking with the LASTMA officials when the incident happened metres away from where she was.
“When they stopped me and wanted to tow my car, I begged them to allow me drive my car to their station but they refused. I even told some of them to enter my car instead. In fact from the picture taken of the incident, a towing car was parked in front of my car, how could I have run away with the towing car parked like that?,” she asked.
According to Johnson: “We were still talking when I heard some noise few metres away from where I was. It was minutes later that I realised that a LASTMA official was dead and from what people said, at the hands of a danfo driver.”