The Lagos State Government on Tuesday, arraigned the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) driver, Andrew Nice Ominnikoron, before a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa (TBS) over the alleged rape and murder of his passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwole.
Ominnikoron is facing a four-count charge bordering on rape, conspiracy and murder preferred against him by the Lagos State government.
When the matter came up before Justice Sherifat Sonaike, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Dr Jide Martins, informed the court that the matter was for the arraignment of the defendant.
The defendant’s counsel Mr Isaac Ezeawem did not object to the arraignment of Ominnikoron.
Martins told the court that the defendant on 25th November 2021, allegedly raped a 29 year -old lady Nneka Maryjane Ozezulu, without her consent.
He said that the incident took place at about 7 pm, at Lekki- Ajah Conservation Centre, Lekki-Ajah Expressway, Lagos.
The prosecutor also told the court that Ominnikoron conspired with others, now at large, and forcefully had sexual intercourse with his 22-year-old passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a fashion designer without her consent and thereafter murdered her.
Martins said the incident happened on 25th February 2022, at about 8 pm, at Lekki – Ajah Conservation Expressway and Cater Bridge.
He said that the defendant and others, still at large, on 26th February 2022, unlawfully killed one Oluwabamise Ayanwole by throwing her out of a moving bus at Cater Bridge after having sexual intercourse with her without her consent.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed is contrary to and punishable under Sections 411,223,260 and 165 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
However, the 47-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
Given the defendant’s plea, the DPP urged the court to further remand him at the Ikoyi Prison and asked for a trial date.
Consequently, Justice Sonaike ordered that Ominnikoron should be further remanded at the Ikoyi Prison and adjourned the case to 9th, 10th and 11th Mayb2022 for commencement of trial.
On 11th March 2022, A Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court remanded the defendant in prison custody for 30 days over his alleged involvement in the death of Ayanwole, pending the DPP’s legal advice.
Magistrate O. A. Salawu made the order following an application by the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Yaba, Lagos.
Salawu, who stood in for Chief Magistrate Tunbosun Adedayo, ruled that Ominnikoron, should be kept at the Ikoyi Prison pending legal advice on the matter from the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The Magistrate adjourned the case till 11th April for DPP’s advice.
The police based its remand application with a temporary four-count charge marked A/26/2022 filed by Lagos State Police Command head of legal section, Superintendent Yetunde Cardoso.