A representative of the operators of the Lagos State Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Kayode Aluko on Tuesday told a Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square that Andrew Ominnikoron, who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, was in the employment of the company for only five months.
Also, who is one of the Fleet operational managers at the Lagos Bus Services limited, told the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Sonaike that Ominnikoron was employed in September 2021, through an outsourcing company called Excel.
The Lagos State government had arraigned the defendant before the court on a four-count charge of conspiracy, murder and two counts of rape.
The prosecutor informed the court that the defendant on November 25, 2021, allegedly raped a 29-year-old Ozezulu in Lagos at about 7 pm, at Lekki- Ajah Conservation centre Lekki Ajah expressway Lagos.
The state had also claimed that Ominnikoron conspired with others now at large and forcefully had sexual intercourse with his 22-year-old Ayanwole, a fashion designer without her consent and murdered her on February 25, 2022, at about 8 pm, at Lekki – Ajah Conservation expressway and Cater bridge.
The prosecutor insisted that the offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 411,223,260 and 165 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed of the matter yesterday, Aluko, who is the second prosecution witness, told the court that the defendant ran away after the company was informed of the allegations against him.
The witness claimed that he had instructed his officers who received the information of the incident that when the defendant resumed duty he should see him for some interrogation on a missing person on his bus.
He stated that when the defendant came, the officer from the outsourcing company he met told him, to see him, but that Ominnikoron, told them that he was going to eat, but never returned.
Aluko also told Justice Sonaike that the three rape incidents and the murder of Oluwabamise Ayanwole were never reported by the defendant, until February 28, after the deceased family reported the case to them.
The witness said, “the incident of November 25, 2021, December 29, 2021, and February 28, 2022, was never reported by the defendant and the model of the bus he drove on the three occasions is Ashok Layland”.
Also, 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.
The witness in his testimony stated that on February, 28, 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 guy 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 was 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 and the incident occurred on Saturday. I said I will do whatever I ca n 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 lives.
“On getting there we didn’t see him, we called him several times, he didn’t respond but suddenly he called back the outsourcing representative that brought him that he was in a hospital, but we couldn’t locate him at his residence or hospital,” Aluko stated.
The witness also claimed that there are phone numbers available to the drivers, which are phone numbers of the marketers, maintenance, depot officers, and station officers and as well as given to the drivers to call and report any incident.
He said, “on November 25, 2021, Andrew Ominnikoron, was the driver that drove Bus no. 240271 and he was on pm shift. Pm shifts start at 1 o’clock and end at 10 pm. On December 29, 2021, the same bus was also allotted to the defendant and he was also on the pm shift he was number 19, which was allotted that day and his route is Ajah- Oshodi.
“On February 26, 2022, Andrew Ominnikoron, was allotted a bus with number 240257, he was equally on the pm shift, from 1 pm to 7 pm, he was number eight on the allotted bus. The procedure is the same for Am and Pm. Am starts 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 stated.
Before Aluko’s testimony, the defence counsel, Abayomi Omotubora, cross-examined the first prosecution witness MaryJane Odezulu, who gave her evidence 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.
Justice Sonaike has adjourned the case to June 1 for the continuation of trial.