Minister Ocholi, Family Perish in Car-Crash; Accident blamed on ‘Bad Road’
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Sunday said that the remains of the late Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, have been deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital, Abuja.
Although, FRSC did not give details of his visit, Ocholi was reportedly returning from Kaduna state to Abuja when the tragic accident occurred Sunday evening.
At the time of filling this report, it was not clear whether the junior minister was in Kaduna on official or private visit; however, an insider said Ocholi has a house in Kaduna and a sister is still resident in the state.
Bisi Kazeem, the spokesperson of FRSC, who confirmed to the news of the minister’s death to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the corpse of the minister was taken to the hospital along with two other casualties. Mr. Kazeem explained that the deceased lost their lives in a car-crash that occurred at Kilometre 57, along Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday.
“The minister and two other occupants died eventually, while four people were injured,” he said.
Although Mr. Kazeem did not give details of the other victims of the crash, it was
learnt that the other two deceased were the minister’s wife and son. The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, confirmed this in a facebook post.
“It is with great sadness that the Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services further announces the death of Mrs. Ocholi at Doka Hospital, who was in coma since the accident near Rijana, along the Kaduna-Abuja Road. Earlier, the death of Minister Ocholi and his son were announced. May their souls rest in perfect peace, Amen,” the governor wrote.
Bad and poor nature of the road has been attributed to the fatal accident that led to the tragic death of the minister, according to sympathizers.
These observations were part of the on-the-spot assessment of sympathizers, who gathered around the accident scene when our Kaduna Correspondent visited the area yesterday at Kilometer 57 Kaduna-Abuja Express highway.
It also observed that the road was full of ditches and potholes just a few meters within the accident spot, noting that this poor condition of the road could have been responsible for accident.
When contacted, Kaduna state Zonal commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Francis Udoma, concord on the ditches and poor nature of the road but argued that bad roads is not limited to the accident spot alone.
“Yes, but the ditches and potholes are not limited to the accident spot alone, it’s everywhere on the roads, across the country; accident is an accident, and can occur anywhere,” he said.
On whether any road maintenance work had been carried out on the road since the assumption of office of the current administration in May hitherto, the Kaduna FRSC boss declined comments, urging that the question be referred to FERMA or Controller Federal Ministry of Works Agency.