This certainly is not a good time for the Federal Road Safety Commission, especially the Corps Marshall, Mr. Osita Chidoka, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY can now reveal.
Apart from the fact that the National Assembly is probing the printing and distribution of newly introduced number plates embarked upon by the commission and the recent recommendation by a presidential panel that the commission should be merged with the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, there sees to be more trouble for the Marshall
According to independent findings by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the setting up of the senate committee currently probing the legitimacy or the powers of the commission to embark on the printing of the number plates by the commission was allegedly instigated by the Senate President, David Mark.
The source confided in our correspondent that trouble between Mark and Chidoka started after the purchase and installation of the close circuit television, CCTV, aimed at checkmating the excesses of the Boko Haram.
Our source continued that when the contract for the security project was advertised, two companies in which the duo have vested interest bidded. However, the commission boss beat the senate president to it. This situation did not go down well with the senate president, the source added.
When LEADERSHIP SUNDAY contacted the FRSC spokesman, Nseobong Akpabio, he confirmed that his boss was actually approached with the proposal for the contract, but that Chidoka was not satisfied with the proposed China-made brand of CCTV made of tube and that he had ordered for amendment, which according to him was not heeded. He claimed the project was somehow executed while his boss withheld his signature
The spokesman also disclosed to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that the contract was not properly done and clouded in secrecy, alleging that the security gadgets are substandard. “Go round and investigate, you are a journalist, whether any of the cameras is functioning”
As if this is not enough, memoranda submitted to the Senate probe committee whose report is being anxiously awaited by Nigerians, and exclusively obtained by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the stakeholders also want the committee to order the commission to discontinue the exercise, just as they urged it to axe the Marshall who according to them, has misled the highest legislative body.
The memoranda from the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria to the probe committee, signed by its national president, Elder Femi Ajewole reads in part: “ The Federal Road Safety Commission was set up pursuant to the Federal Road Safety Act, CAP F19, LFN 2004 and the subsidiary legislation thereof.
The essence and the purpose of the Federal Road Safety Commission hereinafter referred to as FRSC is as contained in section 3,5,6, and 11. To be garnered from the aforesaid provisions generally and specifically is the issue of observance of orderliness and maintenance of traffic code, prevention of avoidable accidents and bringing to a minimal level, recklessness on the highway...
“It has come to the notice of RTEAN, the wanton infraction of the law setting up the FRSC and the general impunity of the body without having recourse to its purpose, all aimed at making money.
“It is thus our final position that the FRSC has no authority to have done what they did and this Distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should call FRSC to order by reversing the purported increase of the price. FRSC should tow the path of the Rule of law.
And so, like every other person who desires a change in any law propose to the National Assembly what they want so that it can be given effect. FRSC by its conduct has subverted the power of the National Assembly as contained in section 4 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and so the action should not stand.”