A magistrate court in Lagos has remanded Andrew Nice, driver of the BRT vehicle boarded by Bamise Ayanwola, the late 22-year-old fashion designer.
Bamise went missing after she boarded a BRT bus driven by Nice at the Ajah axis of the state on February 26.
Nine days later, the corpse of the 22-year-old was found at Carter Bridge in Lagos Island.
Subsequently, Nice was arrested by officials of the Department of State Services at Ogun state after he fled Lagos.
On Friday, the police filed a four-count charge against the suspect.
The charges are alleged murder, rape, and interference with the deceased’s corpse.
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“That you Andrew Nice Ominnikoron ‘M’ and others still at large, on the 26 day of February, 2022 at about 2000hrs, along Ajah – Oshodi Expressway Lagos, in the Lagos State Magisterial District, whilst on duty as a BRT driver within metropolis with BRT bus code number 257 did, forcefully had sexual intercourse with Late Ayanwole Oluwabamise ‘F’ Aged 22yrs (Now Deceased) and thereafter, pushed her out of the moving BRT Bus, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 260 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015,” the charge sheet reads in part.
“That you Andrew Nice Ominnikoron ‘M’ and others still at large, on the 26th day of February, 2022 at about 2000hrs, along Ajah – Oshodi Expressway Lagos, in the Lagos State Magisterial District, whilst on duty as a BRT driver within metropolis with BRT bus code number 257 did, improperly or indecently interferes with the corpse of Late Ayanwole Oluwabamise ‘F’ by dumping the deceased along the express concrete pavement, and thereby, committed an offence punishable under Section 165 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”
O.A Salawu, the magistrate, granted the remand request of the police and ordered that the suspect be held at the Ikoyi correctional centre.
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The case was adjourned to April 11.
The Lagos State Government had on Tuesday suspended the operations of the Bus Rapid Transit due to protests against the tragic death of Oluwabamise Ayanwole.
Nice, during the parade, denied involvement in Oluwabamise’s death, saying his bus was hijacked by three gunmen who posed as passengers.
However, in a video clip that emerged on Monday night, the 47-year-old admitted to committing “dirty acts.”
The confession was said to have preceded his parade by the police.
“I am telling you the truth, she forced herself out of that bus; she was crying for help and everything was recorded. And because of the dirty acts I had done and how stupid I am, I am afraid,” he said in the clip posted on Twitter.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, said investigation into the case was ongoing.
The governor, who spoke during an event to commemorate the International Women’s Day at Onikan, cautioned those he said were twisting the story with unfounded insinuations.
He said, “I have read some narratives and write-ups on social media in the last few hours. Some people are deliberately and extremely being sensational, posting that the Lagos State Government wanted to cover something; even my person.
“These people trivialise life, which appears to me like they just want to score a cheap point. These people are of low minds and have no conscience.
“Our government will certainly not be deterred by such wicked narratives. What we are about is to ensure that we transparently get to the roots of the matter. That is why the police and the Department of State Services picked up the driver, who ran to another state, where he was arrested.
“The full wrath of the law will be applied on whoever is found wanting in this matter. And we will ensure the incident does not repeat itself.”
He also warned the public against boarding BRT buses after the close of bus services in the evening, saying vehicles that had closed for the day would indicate by switching off their inner lights.
On Thursday, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and his wife, Ibijoke, on Thursday, failed to show up at the residence of the family of slain Oluwabamise.
A Punch correspondent who was at the residence of the victim’s family at Oniboli community in the Ayobo area of the Alimosho Local Government Area all through the day learnt that the governor and his wife aborted their planned condolence visit to the grief-stricken family at short notice.
The correspondent hurriedly rushed to the deceased’s family house and got there at exactly 01:35pm after she got credible information that the governor, his wife and other government officials would be paying a condolence visit to the victim’s family.
On getting to the house, the correspondent observed that grief and tears competed in the house as family members, informed of the governor’s planned visit, awaited his arrival.
The mourners rented a tent in anticipation of the governor’s arrival, even as security personnel visibly accessed the security situation of environment.
Their hopes were high as they stretched to confirm the type of vehicle approaching whenever they heard a honking vehicle.
At 04:30pm, a family source who preferred anonymity, and who was in direct communication with the governor’s people, told Punch that the governor shifted the visit to evening.
But till 06:30pm when the correspondent left the house, the governor, his wife and their entourage did not show up.
The family representative later said that the governor’s aides informed him that he had another event to attend somewhere else, hence, his abortion of the planned condolence visit.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, had said the Sanwo-Olu government has a lot of questions to answer and therefore urged the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, to take up the case for justice to be served.
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have expressed anger after a grisly revelation that Nice (Andrew) Omininikoron, the driver of the Bus Rapid Transit vehicle arrested in connection with the brutal murder of a passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwola, had in the past allegedly raped another lady.
The female victim, who spoke exclusively to PUNCH Metro, accused Omininikoron of raping her on November 25, 2021.
Narrating her ordeal, the lady accused the 47-year-old of raping her on the BRT bus.
The former sales girl at a shop in Ajah said after she closed from work around 8pm, she boarded the BRT bus driven by the suspect.
The driver was to convey her from the Alesh Bus Stop in Ajah, to Jakande, along the Lekki Epe Expressway, when things took another dimension.
She said, “While on our way, he switched off the light of the bus, but the AC was on. But as we approached the first toll gate coming from Ajah, he suddenly parked the bus. He then told me to come and sit at the front and started asking me different questions.
“I saw him using a drug and my thinking was that he parked the bus to use the drug before time ran out. A few minutes later, he started making advances towards me and I saw that his manhood had risen up. I became very uncomfortable and insisted on getting down, but he didn’t open the door.
“He said he wanted both of us to go and chill and that he wanted to have sex with me, but I declined. Suddenly, he brought out a knife and dragged me to the back seat of the bus. He told me to take off my clothes, but I refused. He threatened to kill me. He tore my gown, forcefully removed the biker short I wore and raped me. I felt sad.”
The victim said she could not call for help because Omininikoron parked the bus at a desolate location, adding that he refused to let her go after allegedly raping her.
She added, “He insisted on driving me to my destination at Jakande Bus Stop. When we got to my bus stop, he still didn’t open the door. He demanded my account number and started pleading over what he did. He said he wanted to send money to me to buy painkillers.
“I refused to give him my account, but he kept demanding and refused to open the door. Before he raped me, he seized my phone, and because I needed evidence, I gave him my account and he sent N3,000. He then opened the door and I left.
“I could not speak out because I was ashamed of what happened and believed I could not get justice. But when his pictures started circulating online regarding the death of the lady (Oluwabamise), I told my friend that I knew him (Omininikoron).
“After seeing his coloured picture, I went to my bank, requested my statement of account, traced the day he sent me the money, and it was the same name, Omininikoron Nice, which was in the picture circulating.
“I told my friend about it and she introduced me to a rights activist. Some people may question me for speaking out now, but I am speaking out because of the girl. That man must not be freed because he is responsible for what happened.”
A statement of account provided by the victim confirmed Omininikoron sent N3,000 to her on November 25, 2021.
A video clip of her torn clothes was also seen.
Reacting, Nigerians registered their displeasure on various social media platforms and called for an urgent prosecution of the driver, in the interest of justice.
Anabel Phill: Thank you for sharing your bitter experience with the BRT driver Omininikoron. You have given voice to his last victim who unfortunately did not survive his attack and many other victims out there who can’t speak out. I pray justice is served.
Abiodun Komolafe: This man should be made a scapegoat to serve as deterrence to others. I’m very sure he is not the only one. People are just too wicked. Imagine the BRT is not safe again.
Adeleke Adentan: The driver’s cup is just full. This was not the first time he and his gang had been doing this and finally, they presumably are working for some big people. Just check out his confidence, someone that is supposed to have been beaten to stupor. I am very angry in my soul whenever I hear this driver talking. He knows the other men, no doubt.
Desire Onyido: It is obvious he has been doing this for a long time. People will just go missing and family will cry and suffer in silence. If Bamise hadn’t left any clue, she would have been declared missing and just like that…!
Maarufat Busari: Another lady also had a closer experience with him at the Oshodi BRT bus stop, she only didn’t become a victim because she was waiting for her husband to pick her up, and didn’t board his bus, as he was luring her to, because it was late at night.
Itunu Adedokun: Your sins have found you out, every day for the thief, one day for the owner. You can’t escape judgement, I hope your punishment serves as a deterrence to others.
Ajibola Williams: I really can’t blame you for not coming out on time, the shame and the injustice in our society are beyond measure. May God grant you comfort, I wish you had that courage all this while to expose this evil man, maybe the victim wouldn’t have died of the same tragedy.
Nina Elumelu: His time is up in the spirit and in the physical; even if he is bailed or freed, he remains a haunted man till his last days. As for the benefactors and paymasters of this driver’s bountiful crimes, it is a loss all the way for you people.
Your evil ambitions shall be cut super-short. Are there no women and very old elders in Bamise’s community? You people don’t know what to do to stir heaven and earth for justice and vengeance? How long before we can all say is enough?
Johnson Tunde: So he has been doing this for a longer time, it was Bamise’s spirit that caught up with him. He should be taken to a psychiatrist to check on him to know the punishment he deserves.
Vincent Solomon: He is not alone in this, investigations should be made to find out those friends close to him. They are all in the same business. May God deliver the righteous from vicious men and expose all their evil devices.
Elizabeth Jonah: Every day for the thief but one day for the owner. You continued to enjoy sins covered up with a terrible lie; ruined lives, but the prayers of the faithful will not go unheard, so sad.
MrBenCool @MrBenCool: This is the same driver the Lagos State Government has been doing everything possible to protect.
The police spokesperson, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, urged the victim to make a formal report of the incident.
He said, “If the victim has a case against him, she should report at the nearest police station or the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, and it will be investigated.”