Hours after a Yaba Magistrate’s Court in Lagos ordered the remand of Mr. Andrew Nice Ominnikoron, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) driver suspected to be involved in the murder of his 22-year-old passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, another woman has shown up as a victim of the embattled driver.
Dr. Onyinyechi Victoria Anoke’s post on her Facebook wall on Wednesday narrating how she narrowly escaped being raped by Ominnikoron in a BRT bus she boarded in Lagos on December 29 last year made it the second woman that would come out to accuse him of rape or attempted rape since the story of Bamise’s death broke last week.
A national newspaper on Friday quoted a 47-year-old alleged former victim of the bus driver as saying that Ominnikoron raped her on the BRT bus at a desolate location in Lagos on November 25 last year after she boarded the bus at Alesh Bus Stop in Ajah around 8 pm.
She said she could not call for help because the location was desolate and Ominnikoron threatened to stab her if she shouted.
Narrating her own ugly experience with the same bus driver, Anoke said it all happened on Wednesday December 29, 2021 when she decided to visit her friend, a nurse named Amaka Modester whose residence was not too far from Ketu where she (Anoke) lived.
She said since it was getting late, her friend suggested that she should sleep over in her house, but since she did not plan for that and had not told her parents that she would not be coming back, she insisted on going home.
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She said: “I had earlier tried Uber but most of the drivers were a bit far from my location and would request to cancel on that basis, hence we decided not to waste further time, and use bus instead.
“The junction (where she wanted to board a bus) just overlooked the BRT Bus Stop. And as we stood bidding our final goodbyes, this particular driver stopped in front of us, asking if we were ‘going’.
“There was no other person in the bus and my instinct got activated and was like “don’t enter”. But my friend, as if echoing my thoughts, was like “thank God it’s BRT, there won’t be unnecessary delays and you’d get home on time.
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“It was just 8pm and within 15-20mins, all things being equal, I should be at mine. It all happened in a flash and I was seated at one of the front row seats, opposite the driver’s end…
“My thoughts were that he would just move properly into the bus stop and pick the other passengers waiting at the BRT stand. But instead, he bypassed the BRT lane and continued on the normal bus lane till the next intersection.
“By this time, my ‘antenna’ was up and everything within me screamed danger. I made a quick scan of the bus and there was no route of escape. Both doors were locked from the control as well as the windows.”
She said at this point, Ominnikoron had started making advances to her, telling her that he liked her and asking whether she could follow him home.
She said: “Baba (Ominnikoron) started enquiring about my personal details: my name, what I do, if I can just follow him home that night and all sorts of nonsense.
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“Having assessed my situation, my best bet at safety or anything that seemed like it was to indulge him and play along.
“I told him I was a student who came home for break, came to visit my friend and on my way back to my house; that my parents were already expecting me.
“I moved on to hijack the conversation, and acted like I was interested in his miserable life. All this was to buy me time to think of how best to get out of that bus.
“If I panicked, which I did throughout, I didn’t show it. Rather, I acted relaxed and like it was just a regular bus trip even though it was established in me already that I was in grave danger.
“He talked about spending the night with him and all the nonsense, but I politely deflected with the excuse that I had already stayed out much later than agreed and my parents were calling me, but that I could see him the next day or even spend the entire weekend (weekend I would already be in Asaba).
“It was actually not funny. From the conversation, he said his name was Andrew, (that) he didn’t usually ply that route, was more on the Island, lived in Shagamu, and would most likely not see me again; that I was scamming him.
“By this time, he had gotten to the next bus stop, still refusing to pick anybody. Instead, he moved ahead a bit, parked and put out the bus lights.
“There was stark darkness within, though the streetlights illuminated the surroundings. So I could see people but no one could see me. How would I signal to these passersby for help?
“Everywhere was still tightly locked in all of this, so all conversations were contained within. He said we should move to the back row and talk better.
“My body language kept speaking unease and I kept looking at my wrist watch, signaling to him that I was late and we could meet earlier the next day, anywhere he wanted, and talk as long as he wanted.
“By this time, he had already collected my phone numbers. He ensured to collect the two lines he saw on my phone and dialed both and saw them ring to ensure that I was not giving him wrong numbers.
“As earlier said, my best bet at safety was to go with the flow while strategising for better options, and so I did.
“He dragged me by the hands and, as usual, I didn’t struggle but followed him to the back row. By now it was established in my head that this is most likely going to end as an attempted but failed rape case.
“I didn’t even think for a second that it was going to be successful. My fight response was on a high and I racked my brain for all the possible things I could do to temporarily subdue him and hit the bus till people from outside would notice me.
“I’d had three such previous attempts in younger years and God somehow always helped me escape untouched from those locked rooms, so he wouldn’t allow this infidel do this now.
“I would rather die than let it happen (though the picture in my head was more of me harming him with his weapon if he brought out any).
“I had a feeling he might make to stab me and I kept looking out for any attempts of him bringing out a pocket knife and how I was going to struggle for and collect it.
“As he made to run his hands on my body indiscriminately, I subtly pushed him away, curled into myself and used my elbow as a wedge.
“He flared up, that if I said I liked him just like he liked me, why was I resisting? I told him I was just anxious to get home and that’s why; not because I didn’t like him.
“He just kept acting weird and looking outside to one direction most of this time. I guess he was looking out for someone or something.
“After a while, he got frustrated and moved back to the driver’s seat and continued the journey.
“Just as he moved, my mom’s call came in and I ensured to put it on speaker. I told her which bus stop we just left and that I would be home in about five minutes.
“He drove in silence for the rest of the trip until we got to my bus stop and he opened the door and decided to pick passengers.
“I ran out of the bus and he even told me to be careful as I was going.”
Meanwhile, Lead Visioner, Lagos4Lagos and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governorship aspirant in Lagos, Dr Olajide Adediran, popularly called, Jandor, has called for a thorough investigation and prosecution of those involved in the abduction and gruesome killing of Oluwabamise Ayanwole on a BRT.
Jandor, made the call when he led a delegation on a condolence visit to the residence of the bereaved family on Saturday.
Speaking to the family of the deceased, Jandor, described the sudden death as “tragic and unfortunate.”
“The death of the innocent young lady in an unfortunate and avoidable circumstance is worrisome,” he said.
Jandor added that Bamishe’s case should be seen by concerned residents and the Government as one too many incidents, where residents, especially the youths are being lost to avoidable deaths.
He, therefore, tasked the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make this particular case, a deterrence to all criminally minded individuals by ensuring justice is served.
Expressing his condolence, he said: “I want you to take solace in God and his existence, There is a reason for this and I want you to be strong in this trying time.
“It is disheartening to know that despite how the issue has generated a lot of concerns and reactions, there is nothing to show government’s presence at the Ayanwole’s,” Jandor lamented.
Speaking earlier, in an emotion-laden voice, Ayanwole, father of the deceased, stated that Bamishe was on her way home from a fashion school where she goes every day to learn the art of sewing clothes before she met her untimely death.