Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride

A Lagos State, Nigeria, Fashion Designer,Oluwabamise Ayanwole was on Monday, 7th March, 2022, confirmed dead with vital organs missing by the Nigerian Police Force and family after hours of search – after boarding a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Ajah to Oshodi (The safest ride in the state – No more).

 

Bamise Ayanwole was leaving work on February 26 when she boarded a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicle heading to Oshodi from Chevron bus stop. About ten days later, on Sunday, her mutilated corpse was found. Her last known message was sent from within that bus, driven by a certain ‘Andrew Nice Omininikoron’.

 

Oluwabamise Ayanwole, was a 22-year-old fashion designer who went missing in broad daylight.

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Ayanwole got missing while returning to Ota from Ajah on Saturday, February 26 when she boarded a BRT bus with number 240257 going to Oshodi at about 7:00pm. at Chevron Bus-Stop.

 

It was gathered that the victim worked as a Fashion Designer at Chevron Estate, Ajah and spent weekends at Ota, Ogun State, with her sister.

 

Ayanwola sensed danger as the bus did not pick any other passenger at subsequent bus stops, Oluwabamise had engaged a friend using voice notes on her phone.

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She told her friend to pray for her as she became suspicious of the bus driver and in response, the friend told her to alight at Oworonsoki bus stop — before Oshodi bus stop.



Oluwabamise had also sent a video to her friend showing how dark it was in the bus where “there are three men and one woman in the bus. The woman is sitting at the back. That’s the number of the bus in case.”

 

“Please pray for me,” she told her friend.

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Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride

Her corpse was later found lying on the Carter Bridge by Ogogoro Community, Lagos Lagos Island, Lagos State Police spokesman Adekunle Ajisebutu said in a statement.

 

The police disclosed that the corpse has been deposited at the morgue of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, for autopsy.

 

Police said it has contacted her family members who have identified the corpse as that of Oluwabamise Ayanwole, the lady earlier declared missing.

 

Her friend advised her to get out of the car at Oworonsoki and not continue to Oshodi, according to reports.

 

Oluwabamise Ayanwole, on the other hand, never made it to the mainland, allegedly being thrown off the bus at Ebute Ero with her private parts missing.

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Some witnesses claimed her body was discovered near the Oba Palace in Ebute Ero, Lagos Island, and saw her being thrown off the bus naked.

 

“They saw the bus drive away and a jeep follow the bus, and she was shouting for help before she gave up, according to witnesses.” The case was reported to EbutevEro Police Station by the people in the area, according to the message. “Bamise’s brother was at Ebute Ero Police Station this morning to confirm, and when he was shown the picture of the body, he affirmed that it was his sister’s,” Akinwunmi King, a social media user wrote in his series of updates.

 

He’s on his way to the mortuary, where the body will be identified.

 

“I’m looking for the driver, but he’s nowhere to be found.” The police went to the address he gave, and the residents said he had left about a year ago.”

 

Earlier, Lagos Police spokesman CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu said a statement would be issued but denied that the girl had been found dead.

 

The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, later said he is saddened by this incident and, therefore, expresses, on behalf of the management, officers and men of the command, his heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.



“Notwithstanding the death of Oluwabamise, the detectives handling the case would not rest on their oars until her killers are found,” Alabi said.

 

She Fought

They ran to Bamise and she was screaming.

 

It was alleged that some of her body parts had been mutilated. She survived, but not for long.

 

Residents poured sachet water on her but it obviously didn’t help.

Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride

Eyewitness who saw Bamise after she was tossed from BRT bus claims she was still alive but they were discouraged from taking her to the hospital

 

One resident said on Twitter that he was there and he, alongside others, wanted to take her to the hospital but they were prevented by others at the scene who accused them of wanting “to use her remaining”.

Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride

Sadly, Bamise died at the scene.

Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride

 

Let’s make it Clearer

ROUTINE WALK (FIJ)

Bamise, the last of her parents’ 10 children, worked around Chevron in the Lekki area of Lagos. After work, around 7pm, she walked down a street towards the bus stop to get a bus, as she did every other day. On this day, she planned to visit Pelumi Caleb, her elder brother who resides around Idimu, for the weekend. She had told him days before that she might come visiting but she planned the visit as a surprise.

 

“She left her office at Chevron before 7pm,” Pelumi told FIJ on Monday. “She usually walks to her bus stop. But then, what transpired happened between seven and seven-thirty something. She got to her bus stop, that’s Chevron bus stop. On getting there, she saw a BRT bus. Maybe she had the card, I don’t know. But the BRT bus stopped to pick her up.”

 

“The driver said ‘oh fine girl, I will try and carry you. Only you, I will not pick another person’. So, she just hopped in. Then she said, ‘why are your lights not on?’ He said ‘Don’t worry, just go and sit at the back’.

 

“Getting to the back, she noticed that for real the guy did not pick another person. So she started feeling uneasy, having told her friend, her colleague at work, that she was coming to my own house, that she wanted to pay me a surprise visit, that she didn’t want me to be aware that she was on her way,” Pelumi said.

 

“So, she was chatting with her friend with voice notes. On getting to the back of the bus, she informed her friend. She first snapped the inner part of the bus, that picture captured the number of the BRT. then she did a video, a short video. She zoomed in.”



VOICE NOTE: ‘I’M SO SCARED, MY MIND IS NOT AT REST’

A few minutes later, the driver eventually stopped at one point to allow three persons – a woman and two men – to board the bus. After expressing her fears with her friend, she agreed to alight as soon as possible at Oworonshoki. Her friends began to text and call her but noticed she was speaking with a completely different tone. Her phone was later unreachable.

 

“She questioned if BRT buses allow passengers to board at that area and why other passengers were not allowed to board. Then later, her colleague asked her to alight,” Pelumi recalled.

 

“So, Bamise said that when she gets to Oworonshoki she would tell the driver to let her alight. After some three minutes, three passengers were allowed to board the bus.”

 

Some of Bamise’s friends thought her phone ran out of battery charge but were shocked when her siblings and parents confirmed that she did not get home on Sunday. Her elder brother and friends began a search for Bamise at the Oshodi BRT park Terminal 3 where the BRT vehicle that drove her the previous night was parked. They met the bus but not the driver.

 

PANIC OVER BAMISE’S WHEREABOUTS

“By Sunday morning, Bamise’s friend called one of my brothers to ask if she got to my place. So, Daniel, my younger brother, called to ask about Bamise’s whereabouts. I said I didn’t know, although she had called me on Monday or Tuesday that if she got money she would visit me.

 

“My brother told me to find out, because I wasn’t around. I called home and they told me that nobody was inside. So I told my brother not to worry, that Bamise might have gone to a friend’s place. She’s not a kid, she will come back home.

 

“Bamise’s friend then said that no, that couldn’t have happened because she didn’t have any boyfriend or acquaintance to go stay with. Again, she said some voice notes that Bamise sent to her were proof she wasn’t comfortable inside the BRT she boarded. Then I told the friend to forward the voice notes to me. When she did, we knew there was a problem.”

 

Pelumi and a few others went to Bamise’s her office in Lekki, Ajah, to get more details and make a report. The following morning they went to a police station to lodge a formal complaint, but the police told them the incident did not happen in their jurisdiction.



“Go to another place, go to Akinpelu,” Pelumi quoted the policemen as saying.

 

“We went to Akinpelu police station, the same response. So, we were not satisfied with the response from Akinpelu police station. Someone suggested Mafoluku, so we went to Mafoluku police station and nothing was positive.

 

“Then we went to the terminal. We met some guys, we met one Mister Raphael who did not know that we were doing a recording of our conversation. In Raphael’s submission, the driver of the exact BRT was on his way and would be around by 2pm. He claimed that Bamise had actually gone to see a male friend to have fun and there was nothing else to it.

 

“We were not comfortable with his response. By 2 o’clock, we did not see the driver. Raphael said that we should give him more time, that he was on his way. After a while, Raphael stood up and left. I thought he was going to his office to see a driver but we did not see this Raphael again. He did not come down to attend to us again. All efforts to get to him through his colleagues proved abortive.”

 

MISSING PERSON? ‘AND SO WHAT?’

Continuing, Pelumi told FIJ: “We went to their office at Ilupeju; we met two security officers. They denied us access to any form of investigation. They said that anything could have happened, that they had no case of missing vehicle. Since there was no case of missing vehicle, no one was missing in their vehicle. ‘Everything is alright; go home,’” they said.

 

When Bamise’s people insisted they were worried about a missing person, the BRT officials responded: “And so what?

 

“They told us to go get a police report,” Pelumi said. “I asked them to let us see the CCTV footage of what happened during that time, they said ‘who are you to come and request for a CCTV footage?’ I then informed them that I am Bamise’s brother. They insisted that I leave and get a police report first. We went to Mafoluku Police Station, but they were complacent again. Nothing happened.”

 

The bus Bamise boarded was on the premises of the Lagos Bus Service Limited (LBSL) office in Ilupeju but the office has claimed that social media exposure will jeopardize the investigation into Bamise’s abduction.

 

BRT DRIVER DISAPPEARS

Andrew, the BRT driver, reported to duty after Saturday but disappeared into thin air after word went round that Bamise’s friends and family were at the bus terminal. Bamise’s relatives were referred to the police afterwards, but they got unsatisfactory responses from different police stations. The police would eventually claim to have gone to the driver’s house just to discover he no longer lives there. Andrew’s phone has been switched off ever since. Andrew’s guarantor initially denied knowing him but later admitted being his guarantor after he was interrogated by the police.

“Andrew came to work on Monday, but he was tipped that we were looking for him, so he disappeared,” Pelumi said.



“We lodged our complaint around 3pm then left. Andrew came in after 4pm. We have gone to Jakande police and tabled the case there. As we speak, the driver is at large. They traced the guarantor’s house but found out that he only squatted there; it is his elder brother that owns the house. We put a call through to the said guarantor and he said he doesn’t know anybody called Andrew. He later said that he did know Andrew but he signed as a guarantor for him.

 

The late Bamise
Bamise’s brother confirmed her demise on Monday morning after a tweet was released to reveal the discovery of her body.

 

“I have seen the said post and it is my sister. I’m with our parents but they don’t know anything about it yet,” Pelumi said.

 

Bamise’s friends believe that the police are not doing enough to bring Bamise’s abductors to justice. They also fear the officials in charge of the BRT terminals in Oshodi are ignoring or trying to distance themselves from Bamise’s abduction. The officials at the BRT office told Bamise’s friends that they had no personal information about the driver.

 

What Happened Mr Driver?

“The Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, is saddened by this incident and, therefore, expresses, on behalf of the management, officers and men of the command, his heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.

 

“Notwithstanding the death of Oluwabamise, the detectives handling the case would not rest on their oars until her killers are found.

 

“We, therefore, assure the concerned public and the bereaved family that we are closing on on the culprits and we are sure that soon the suspects would be arrested and made to face justice for this murderous act.

 

“While soliciting the cooperation of all and sundry, we once again appeal to anyone with additional information that could help the police in arresting the suspects to kindly oblige us. Such information, we assure, will be treated with utmost confidentiality.

 

“The Command is ever determined and committed to protection of lives and properties of residents in the state; and has strengthened its security apparatus to prevent a recurrence of this ugly, disturbing incident,” a statement by the Lagos State Police Command through its PRO, Adekunle Ajisebutu, stated on Monday.



The driver of bus 240257, Nice Andrew Omininikoron was later arrested on Monday.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu, made this known in a chat, even as he confirmed that the dead body of the lady has been found.

 

“The driver of the BRT has been arrested,” Ajisebutu stated. He also said the killers of Ayanwole would face justice.

 

‘I was a victim too!’ – The Driver

Speaking after sessions with the Nigerian men on black, Nice Andrew Omininikoron, the 47-year-old BRT driver, that was suspected to have murdered the 22 year old lady, Bamise, said he was a victim of kidnappers that hijacked his bus and subsequently murdered the lady.

 

He revealed this, while he was been paraded by the police commissioner in Lagos today after he was arrested by the DSS in Ogun state and handed over to the police command in Lagos.

 

“My Bus was hijacked by the kidnappers that kidnapped Bamise. They held me and the deceased hostage after they flashed me their weapons.”

 

“I picked her from Chevron, and the other three guys at …when those guys show me his weapon as I was inside, I can’t be myself anymore,” Mr Nice said.

 

“Fears have come in, so, whatever the man with the gun told me, I do. I followed that Carter Bridge, that overhead bridge, they ordered me to stop there, they say I should open the door, when I open the door, then when they come down, they now start dragging her, when I saw that she was crying for help I was helpless,” he said.

 

“I thought she was still in the vehicle and I drove off.”

The questions that were, however, still begging for an answer were, why did he have to run away without telling the police if indeed he was a victim of kidnapper as he claims? Why he didn’t deem it fits to report the incident to his company as to what happened before DSS fished him out?

 

The police are yet to give details of how the driver, identified as Nice Andrew Ominikoron was apprehended. He drove the bus numbered 240257.

Mr Governor

”Dear Lagosians, the life of every citizen of the state matters to us, and we do not take the security of our people for granted.

 

We will therefore leave no stones unturned in the investigations and arrest of everyone found culpable in the kidnap and death of Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole.

 

The driver of the BRT bus involved in this unfortunate incident has been arrested, and the management of Lagos Bus Service Ltd have been directed to cooperate fully with security agencies in their investigations, so that the full weight of the law is brought down on everyone involved in this ugly incident.



To Bamise’s family and loved ones, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time, may the Almighty God console you. I hereby give you my word that JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED.

 

To fellow Lagosians, I assure you that I am following all the investigations closely, and will ensure that Bamise gets the justice she deserves.

 

I also assure you all that the BRT services remain safe, despite this condemnable act.

 

Once again, my sincere condolences to the Ayanwole family.

 

May Oluwabamise’s soul Rest In Peace. Amen.” The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said in a Monday statement.

Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride
Oluwabamise Ayanwole and the Lagos-Oshodi BRT Death Ride

Mr Macaroni tweeted: “Bamise’s story is so heartbreaking. It is even more worrisome that we don’t know how many people have suffered the same fate as her.

 

“For all we know there could be more to suffer the same fate and that is because it is hard to get justice in our society,” the actor, skit maker and activist said.

 

As a last hope result (aside from police prowess), once more, the Lagos State Government is expected to utilize and possibly share CCTV footage.

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