National Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, a subsidiary legislation pursuant to the
Federal Road Safety Commission (Establishment)
Act, 2007, Provides-
Regulation 154: “No person other than the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Vice President, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Deputy President of the Senate, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors and Deputy Governors of States shall drive a vehicle on any public road using sirens, flashers or beacon lights.” Note that A Minister/ ex-governor is not one of the persons entitled to use siren, flashers and beacon lights on public roads. The punishment is N3,000 fine or seven months imprisonment or both.
Regulation 155 reads: “A driver or person having control of a vehicle who knowingly and without reasonable excuse obstructs a vehicle authorized by this regulation to use sirens, flashers or beacon light commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N2,000 or 6 months imprisonment or to both”. What this means is that a governor is entitled to use convoy and siren on public roads, without any obstruction. Any driver or person in control of a vehicle, who knowingly and without reasonable excuse, obstructs the convoy of the governor, commits a crime. Thus, the burden is on the Minister and SARS officers attached to him to show that they had reasonable excuse for obstructing Gov. Wike’s convoy.
It is observed that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as a unit under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) of the Police, its mandate does not include following politicians around and forming Commando. Besides, the governor is the chief security officer of the State and the number one citizen in the State. Consequently, it is criminally unprofessional for any security officer to disrespect the governor. It is quite a political paradox that those people who are desperate to take over the office of the governor, are not equally desperate to respect the office.