… As Lesotho PM fails to appear in court to face murder charge***
A driver, George Augustine on Friday appeared in a Badagry Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State for allegedly driving recklessly and causing the death of two customs officers on lawful duty.
The police charged Augustine with three counts of manslaughter, reckless driving and driving without driver’s licence.
He, however, pleaded not guilty.
The Prosecution Counsel, ASP Ikem Ukor, the defendant committed the offence on July 14, 2018 at about 9. 30 a.m. at Gbaji Village on Seme Badagry expressway, Lagos.
Ukor alleged that Augustine drove a green Toyota Avalon saloon car with registration number YAB 366 JY in a dangerous manner, having no regards for all circumstances including nature and the use of highway.
He alleged the defendant drove in a dangerous manner, causing the death of U. Usman with service number No 45692, aged 39, and S. Kabir with 46807, aged 34.
Ukor said the defendant also drove without a valid driver’s licence on a public highway in a direction prohibited by road traffic law.
He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 19, 15 and 20 of RTA CAP. 124, Law of Lagos State.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Patrick Adekomaiya, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500, 000 each with two sureties in like sum.
Adekomaiya ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed with means of identification.
He adjourned the case untill March 18, for hearing.
In the meantime, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane, on Friday failed to appear in court, where he was expected to face charges of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
Police said on Thursday that Thabane would be charged for the murder of his second wife, Lipolelo.
According to his private secretary, he did not arrive at court because he was having a medical check-up in neighbouring South Africa.
Private secretary Thabo Thakalekoala told dpa, after widespread speculation that Thabane had skipped the country.
“It is not true that he has gone to South Africa to seek political asylum.
“Preparations will be made when he will appear before the court,’’ Thakalekoala said.
Deputy police commissioner Paseka Mokete told dpa they had not yet received confirmation of the prime minister’s whereabouts and would “take it from there.’’
Mokete told South African radio station 702 earlier that Thabane would be formally charged with three counts – murder, attempted murder, and malicious damage to property.
Earlier in the month, Thabane’s current wife, Maesaiah Thabane, was arrested, charged and granted bail after handing herself over to authorities.
“We will charge him along with his wife, because they had a common purpose,’’ Mokete said.
Maesaiah, who married the prime minister in 2017, shortly after his previous wife was shot and killed while travelling in her car, went into hiding in mid-January after being called in for questioning.
Thabane came under increased pressure to resign and conducted a news conference at State House in the capital, Maseru, on Thursday announcing he would step down in July.