A commercial boat driver, Happiness Elebiju, suspected to have caused the incident that killed 12 persons at Ilashe Waterfront on July 29, was yesterday arraigned before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.
Elebiju was arraigned before Justice Josephine Oyefeso on a 10-count charge brought against him by the Lagos State government. He pleaded not guilty to the offence bordering on involuntary manslaughter. The suspect was alleged to have operated the boat that killed 12 passengers due to overcrowding and illegal activities.
At the resumed proceedings, the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, said the defendant was being charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Following his plea, DPP prayed the court to remand the defendant in a correctional centre, adding that the state was ready to commence trial.
She noted that there were two witnesses in court who were ready to testify against the defendant. But the defence counsel, Emmanuel Okedi, urged the court to grant him time to prepare for trial. He submitted that he was just served the notice in the court.
The judge, therefore, adjourned trial till August 26, and ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody.