Enugu Road Auto Crash: Checkpoint Not Cause Of Accident – Army

By Anne Osemekeh, Abuja

The Nigerian Army (NA) has refuted online news reports attributing the June 11 tragic and unfortunate auto crash along Ninth Mile-Ugwu Onyeama Road in Enugu state, to a checkpoint manned by personnel of 82 Division.

The NA, in a statement on Thursday on its Facebook page, said the Division does not have a checkpoint there but rather, it has a Location/Base by the roadside to curb the incessant kidnappings the area was hitherto known for.

Residents and travellers alike around the Ugwu-Onyema road in the state were thrown into a state of lamentations Tuesday, following a multiple road accident involving seven vehicles. The incident was said to have happened when a heavy-duty truck suffered brake failure and rammed into several oncoming vehicles.

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On Wednesday, the Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Enugu State, Adeyemi Sokunbi, while confirming the development, said two male passengers died in the accident while 25 others were rescued alive, including eight males and 2 females, who were injured.

The Army in its statement, viewed the sport of the news medium as “inaccurate and full of falsehood that are meant to tarnish the appreciable efforts of the troops”.

The NA, while condoling and commiserating with the families whose loved ones were involved in the tragic incident and also praying for the speedy recovery of those injured, explained that the accident occured 300m ahead of the soldiers’ base.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the accident occurred due to a brake failure of a trailer coming down slope from 9th Mile Axis. The trailer rammed into other oncoming vehicles from Enugu and not those coming from same Axis of 9th Mile with it. Hence, the crash was a head-on and not a rear collision. Thus, the soldiers never stopped any vehicle on the road for any checking but served as a responder to the accident”, the NA said.

The NA reiterated that “only 2 people died at the scene of the accident and not 25 cases being reported”, adding that, “it is disheartening to accuse the military of causing the accident”, noting that there were efforts by the kidnappers and illegal miners in the area to get rid of the checkpoint.

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