A Fleet Operations Manager. at the Lagos Bus Services Limited, Kayode Aluko, today (10th May 2022) narrated to Justice Sherifat Sonaike of the Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa TBS, how the driver of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Andrew Ominnikoron, the alleged rape and murder suspect of 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 of the incident that when the defendant returns to the office, he should see him for some interrogation regarding a missing person on his bus.
The witness in his evidence said that the defendant was employed in September 2021.
He testified that when the defendant returned to the office, another officer from the outsourcing company he met told him to see him, but that Ominnikoron told them that he was going to a restaurant, but never returned.
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 the court that the three rape incidents and the murder of Oluwabamise Ayanwole were never reported by the defendant, until 28th February after the deceased family reported the case to the office.
Aluko said, ” The incidents of 25th November 2021, the 29th December 2021 and 28th February 2022, were never reported by the defendant and the model of the bus he drove on the three occasions is Ashok Layland”.
The witness who was led in his evidence in chief by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr Babajide Martins, said the office has a monitoring unit that monitors the movement of drivers’ routes.
Aluko testified that on 28th February, at about 3 pm, the elder brother of the missing lady (Bamise) was at their gate and he was having some challenges with their security personnel at the gate that they should go and incident the case at a nearby police station.
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 more 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 but the incident occurred on Saturday. I said I will do whatever I can to help them. That night I took my car with four other personnel from the outsourcing company and went to Ogolonto at Ikorodu where he (the defendant) said he lived.
“On getting there, we didn’t see him, we called him several times, he didn’t respond but suddenly he called back the representative of the outsourcing company that introduced him to us that he was in a hospital. But we could not locate him either at his residence or the hospital,” the witness said.
He further testified that there are phone numbers available to the drivers, which are phone numbers of the Marketers, Maintenance, Depot Officers, and Station Officers and is given to all drivers to call and report any incident.
The witness said ” On 25th November 2021, Andrew Ominnikoron was the driver that drove Bus no. 240271 and he was on the afternoon shift. Afternoon shifts start at 1 o’clock and end at 10 pm. On 29th December 2021, the same bus was also allotted to the defendant and he was also on the afternoon shift, he was number 19 that was allotted that day and his route was Ajah- Oshodi.
“On 26th February 2022, Andrew Ominnikoron, was allotted a bus with number 240257, he was equally on the afternoon shift, from 1 pm to 7 pm, he was number eight on the allotted bus. The procedure is the same for morning and afternoon. Morning shifts start at 5 am.
” 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 sign”, the witness told the court.
Earlier, the defence counsel, Abayomi Omotubora, cross-examined first prosecution witness Mary Jane 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 N3000 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 further hearing of the suit till 1st June for the continuation of the trial.
Meanwhile, a five-count amended charge was read to the defendant and he took his plea.
Ominnikoron is facing a five-count charge bordering on rape, conspiracy, felony, sexual assault, and murder preferred against him by the Lagos State government.
The prosecution said that the defendant on 25th November 2021, allegedly raped a 29-year -old lady, Nneka Mary Jane Odezulu, without her consent.
It said that the incident took place at about 8 pm, at Lekki- Ajah Conservation Centre, Lekki Ajah Expressway, Lagos.
The prosecution also told the court that Ominnikoron conspired with others, now at large, to commit rape and murdered his 22-year-old passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a fashion designer.
It said that the defendant had sexual intercourse with Oluwabamise Ayanwole without her consent and murdered her at about 7 pm, between Lekki Ajah Expressway and Carter Bridge, on February 26, 2022.
The prosecution also said that the defendant and others, now at large, on 26th February 2022, unlawfully killed one Oluwabamise Ayanwole by throwing her out of a moving bus between Lekki- Ajah Expressway and Cater Bridge.
The defendant is also accused of sexually assaulting a 29-year-old woman, Victoria Anieke, on 29th December 2021, between Ikorodu and the Mile 12 area of Lagos State.