Bamise: How BRT driver absconded from office –Supervisor

One of the fleet operational managers at the Lagos Bus Services limited, Kayode Aluko, yesterday, told the court how the driver of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Andrew Ominnikoron, who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, ran away after they got the information of what had happened.

Aluko said that he had instructed his officers who received the information on the incident that whenever the defendant came in, he should see him for some interrogation on a missing person in his bus.

The witness, who disclosed that the defendant was employed in September 2021, said when he  came in, the officer he met told him to see him, but  Ominnikoron told them that he was going to eat, but never returned.

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The witness, who is the second prosecution witness (PW2), gave details of how the defendant was employed by the Lagos Bus Services limited, from an outsourcing company called Excel.

He told Justice Sherifat Sonaike of the Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa TBS that the three rape incidents and the murder of Oluwabamise Ayanwole were never reported by the defendant until February 28, after the deceased’s family reported the case to them.

Aluko said: “The incident of November 25, 2021, the December 29, 2021 and February 28, 2022, were never reported by the defendant, and the model of bus he drove on the three occasions is Ashok Layland”.

The witness, who was led in evidence in chief by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr Babajide Martins, said they have a monitoring unit that monitors the movement of the driver’s route.

Aluko testified that on February 28, at about 3pm, the elder brother of the missing lady (Bamise) was having some challenges with their security man at the gate as he demanded that they should go and incident the case at a nearby police station.

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He said: “When I heard the argument, I asked the security to let him in and when I listened to them, they showed me a voice note and a video from the elder brother’s phone.

“In the video that I saw, it displayed my bus with number 240257 and the other voice of two ladies and in their conversation there was an expression of fear from the lady inside the bus to the other friend.

“This was on a Monday, and the incident occurred on Saturday. I said I will do whatever I could to help them. That night I took my car with four other personnel from the outsourcing company and we went to Ogolonto at Ikorodu, where he (defendant) said he lives.

“On getting there, we didn’t see him and we called him several times, but he didn’t respond; and, suddenly, he called back the outsourcing representative who brought him and said that he was in a hospital, however, we couldn’t locate him at his residence or hospital.”

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He further testified that there are phone numbers available to the drivers to call and report any incident.

The witness said: “On November 25, 2021, Andrew Ominnikoron was the driver who drove Bus no. 240271 and he was on the pm shift. Pm shift starts at 1 o’clock and ends at 10pm. On December 29, 2021, the same bus was also allotted to the defendant and he was also on pm shift and he was number 19 and his route was Ajah- Oshodi.

“On February 26, 2022, Andrew Ominnikoron was allotted a bus with number 240257. He was equally on the pm shift from 1pm to 19pm and he was number eight on the allotted bus.

The procedure is the same for Am and Pm. It starts at 5am.

“We have two captains (drivers) for each bus. Once a driver resumes in the morning, he will write down his name and the allotted bus, the following details will be documented before moving out: the fuel level, the odometer and then he wound sign.”

Earlier, the defence counsel Abayomi Omotubora, cross- examined the first prosecution witness, MaryJane Odezulu, on the evidence she gave on Monday.

When asked how she was raped after she was pushed down by the defendant, she said he shifted her pant and raped her.

Asked if she used the N3,000 that the defendant sent to her account, she testified that after withdrawing the money, she gave it to beggars at Ajah, on her way to work the next day.

However, Justice Sonaike adjourned the case till June 1, for continuation of trial.

Ominnikoron is facing a five-count charge bordering on rape, conspiracy, felony, sexual assault, and murder preferred against him by the Lagos state government.

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