By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ABUJA – Whereabouts of the Director of Finance at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Mr. Tony Okecheme, remained Unknown, as he was swept away by heavy flood on Friday.
Flood submerge motorcycles Okecheme, was carried by the flood at Galadimawa roundabout in Abuja while he was on his way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
He was being conveyed to the airport with his official car, a 2017 Toyota Camry, when the calamity struck. The roundabout has been under construction for over one year, with heavy traffic witnessed around the area during rush hours.
While the roundabout has a stationed police team, officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, often stand to ease the flow of traffic within the axis. Meanwhile, the FCT High Court Director was said to have encountered the rampaging flood that was aftermath of early morning heavy downpour in Abuja on Friday morning. While his driver whose identify could not be ascertained, was subsequently rescued by some young boys within the area, there has been no trace of his boss.
An eyewitness account claimed officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, that arrived the scene not too long after the incident, were unable to rescue Okecheme who was said to have been trapped in the flood for about an hour before it eventually swept him away. Meanwhile, his mud-filled car was later pulled out by the youths who were livid with anger over the inability of NEMA to save Okecheme.
Speaking to Vanguard, a man who identified himself as Mr. Adewale Sampson, insisted that he could have been saved assuming NEMA officials came to the scene prepared. “They just stood there pointing up and down. In fact if not for some boys and touts that usually sleep at the garage close to the roundabout, that driver would have died”. Another eyewitness, Mrs. Nkechi Okere, told Vanguard that the flood was so heavy that it was practically impossible for any small car to pass through to the other side of the roundabout.
“It had always been like that, especially since they started this roundabout they don’t want to finish. I was heading to the motor park to take a bus to Enugu this morning, but when we got this place and saw the situation, the driver of the car I entered from Kabusa said he would not go again. That was how we ran into the garage and stayed before someone came to raise the alarm that the flood has trapped some people”.
One of the garage boys who simply identified himself as Dangar, said he was among the people that helped to rescue Okecheme’s driver who he said had managed to pull himself out of the vehicle.
“Oga this kind thing don dey happen here since. The government no go talk say dem no know say this place dey bad when rain fall. Na so we dey push car here every time. The other time na so rain carry one man and imm two children around Lokogoma wey no far from here, when he dey take dem to school in the morning like this”, he lamented in pidgin English. It was learned that the driver was rushed to an undisclosed hospital Asokoro.
Meantime, when she was contacted by Vanguard, the head of the information department at the high court, Mrs. Tabitha Kangiwa, confirmed the incident.
However, she said the court had yet to get full details of what happened or the whereabouts of its affected Director of Finance. Vanguard
Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/08/how-heavy-flood-swept-fct-high-court-director-of-finance/