How Lagos boat helmsman abandoned his drowning passengers, after causing their death over N300

Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu

The Lagos State Police Command has explained how a commercial boat helmsman, Bimbo Elebiju, caused the death of 10 of his passengers because of N300.

Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos Police Commissioner, who paraded Elebiju on Tuesday said that the victims drowned after the wave of a ship sailing along the Kirikiri waterfront made the boat to capsize.

The commissioner revealed that Elebiju switched off the engine of his boat during an argument with his passengers over the fare.

While conveying the passengers, 20 in number, Elebiju told the passengers that their fare was N1,500, but the passengers insisted they will pay N1,200 instead. Apparently not comfortable with the price, the helmsman switched off the engine of his boat by the waterfront.

Odumosu further noted that when the ship sailed along, the wave made the boat to drift towards a stationary barge, where it capsized. Elebiju immediately jumped into the water and abandoned his drowning passengers.

Five of the passengers were rescued, while 10 other drowned.

Bimbo Elebiju was eventually traced and apprehended.

“On July 29, 2020, around 5.45pm, our marine operatives received a distress call that a commercial boat with the inscription: ‘Mount Zion Transport’, fitted with 150HP Yamaha outboard engine, which was conveying 20 passengers from Kirikiri to Badagry, drifted towards a stationary barge and capsized along the Kirikiri waterfront.

“Five passengers were rescued, while 12 corpses were recovered. Three people are still missing. The helmsman, Bimbo Elebiju, swam to safety. Investigation revealed that the accident was caused by the deliberate act of the helmsman. There was an argument between the deckhand and the passengers as to the transport fare.

“Bimbo insisted on N1,500 per passenger and the passengers said they would only pay N1,200 each. Because of the N300 difference, the helmsman turned off the engine on a turbulent waterfront. A big ship passed and stirred the water, creating a wave that made the boat to drift towards the stationary barge. The suspect was trailed to his hideout and arrested after the survivors of the accident gave the true account of what happened. He will be charged,” the Lagos Police Commissioner said.

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