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Bamise: BRT official testifies in court

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An official of the Lagos Bus Services Limited (in charge of the BRT) has testified before a High court in the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, in the murder trial of Andrew Ominikoron on Tuesday.

Mr Ominikoro is accused of raping and murdering a 22-year-old fashion designer, Bamise Ayanwola, in February inside a BRT bus.

He is also accused of raping another passenger, Maryjane Odezelu, on November 25.

Kayode Aluko, a Fleet Operations manager at the Lagos Bus Services Limited, explained how the company employs their drivers.

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He said the employment process of BRT drivers is outsourced to a company, Excel Outsourcing, and once the drivers are fully engaged they are sent to a driving school for a test.

“Depending on their commitment and readiness to be engaged after the test, they will pass through induction and during that, the successful ones among them are given the company policy to go through,” he said.

“The company policy contains various infractions and the remedial consequences if you violate them. After going through, they (employees) sign.”

He said the operational administrative department put them on two-week probation before they are finally engaged to pick up the bus and given the company’s uniform.

He said they pick up the bus in their area of residence. He described their shifts as AM (5 a.m-1 p.m) and PM (1 p.m-10 p.m).

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He noted that before the buses are driven out of their stations, “the code of the bus is written down, the time you are driving out, the fuel level and also the odometer. And you have been allocated to a specific route.”

He told the court that the suspect joined them in September 2021.

The prosecution lawyer, Babatunde Martins, sought to tender a signed copy of the suspect’s employment document as evidence but it was opposed by the defence lawyer.

Abayomi Omotubora, the defence lawyer, said the evidence sought to be tendered was not specifically listed as part of the evidence to be presented by the prosecution.

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But the judge, after stating a section of the Evidence Act, ruled that the evidence be admitted.

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Rape suspect (Andrew Ominikoron) covers face with book

The witness further said that on November 25 and December 29, the driver was allotted bus 271 and was on the PM shift.

On February 26, he was allotted bus 275 and he was on the PM shift. On that day, the witness said the driver drove the 56-seater vehicle out and was allotted the Ajah-Oshodi route.

He said they have different stations within the state. “So, part of the monitoring starts once the driver leaves the station and the bus is confirmed at the station.

“And there is documentation that is done confirming the driver’s arrival at different stations. Part of what we have also is the CCTV camera in some of the buses. And we also have the enforcement unit that monitors our route’s operations.”

Mr Aluko said they never received any complaint against the suspect except on February 28 from the deceased’s relative.

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He told the court that the deceased’s relative came along with the bus code – 240257. “And we checked and it corresponds with what we have. It was driven by the suspect. But he was not on duty at the time they came to report.”

“The driver resumed past 2 p.m. And I had instructed him to see me upon arrival. He was asked to wait but he told the officers of his outsourcing company that he wanted to go and eat. But he never returned.”

Mr Aluko also said that the deceased’s elder brother showed him a voice note and a video. “It displayed my bus code – 240257, and the other voice note of the two ladies.

“And in that 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 can to help them.

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“Immediately he left, I went to our outsourcing company and picked up the captain of the bus…we arranged for a manhunt that night. I took my car with about four other personnel to Ogolonto, Ikorodu (the suspect’s residence),” but could not find him.

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Mr Aluko said they tried his known telephone number several times but he didn’t respond. But he would later call that he was in the hospital.

Alleged rape

Earlier in the hearing, the alleged rape victim, who had testified on Monday, was cross-examined by Mr Omotubora.

The sales representative said she had only started working in the Ajah area two months before the incident.

“How long have you been in Lagos?” The lawyer asked.

2014, she responded.

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Lawyer: You are very conversant with the operation of BRT?

Witness: No. I did not enter the BRT bus, that night was my first day.

Lawyer: You would also agree with me that the BRT buses do not operate like the Danfo?

Witness: I don’t know that one. I normally see them on the road.

Lawyer: But you know that BRT has their designated bus stops?

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Witness: I don’t know.

Lawyer: Are you saying that you have been since 2014, you have not seen BRT buses loading point since 2014?

Witness: The only place that I normally see BRT is at Ajah.

Andrew Ominikoron escorted by prison officials after the hearing

Lawyer: Do you know that the Alex hotel bus stop is not the designated bus stop?

Witness: Yes, but they normally pick passengers there.

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The witness explained that she never knew that BRT buses use cards. Neither was she aware that every cash payment comes with a receipt.

She said she boarded the bus around 8 p.m. and had never met the driver until that night.

She noted that the suspect parked around Lekki Conservation and raped her. She said the area was dark at the time.

“You said that the driver attacked you and dragged you?” the lawyer asked.

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“After he ended the call, I noticed that my life was in danger and his manhood had risen. I brought my big phone. That was when he locked the door and the light went off and he dragged me to the back seat,” the witness said.

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“While this was going on, you didn’t raise any alarm?” The lawyer asked.

“He held my neck and raised a knife, how do I raise an alarm?” The witness questioned.

“Please, tell the court how you were dressed?

“I dressed normally. I wore that gown with my tummy belt.

The lawyer brought out the gown. “This cloth is just a blouse,” he told the court.

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But the witness insisted that it was a gown.

“I didn’t wear the gown with any trousers because it almost touched my knee,” she added.

“I want to make an application that the court directs the witness to wear these clothes,” the lawyer requested.

But the judge frowned at his request. “No. Why should I ask her to wear it in the courtroom?” She asked.

“I will apply for that, my lord,” the lawyer replied.

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The witness said she gave her account number and phone number to the driver when he requested because he refused to let her go.

“And you received the money with thanks and gratitude. Yes or no?

“I said thanks to him because I wanted him to free me,” she responded.

She, however, said she discussed the incident with her male friend.

The defence lawyer accused the witness of promiscuity using “indecent language” but the judge cautioned him against such a word in questioning the witness.

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The witness continued that the money sent to her by the suspect was withdrawn and given to some beggars in Ajah.

The next hearing of the matter is fixed for June 1, 7, and 9.

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Crime

OPC arrests two for stealing machine in Lagos

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Theheute-

Members of the Oodua People’s Congress, on Monday, arrested two men who allegedly stole a vulcanising machine from a store at Mile 12, in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The Chief Security Officer of the Gani Adams-led faction of the OPC, Rotimi Obayemi, that the suspects confessed to stealing the machine after it was found with them.

He identified the suspects as Sanni Aminu, 30, and Ibrahim Salisu, 29.

Obayemi said, “I was called by the OPC chairman who told me that they had caught two thieves. On arrival, I interrogated the suspects in Hausa because they did not understand English. They both confessed that they broke into a store at Underbridge, Mile 12, and stole the machine.”

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Aminu, who claimed to be a wheelbarrow pusher at the Mile 12 Market, said, “I accompanied my brother last night. I didn’t know that he was going to steal the machine.”

The Lagos State Chairman, OPC, Okanlomo Adeniyi, said the police had been informed of the incident and that the suspects and the stolen machine would be handed over to the authorities.

Okanlomo said, “We have reported the case to the Ikeja division of the police command; they are on their way. We will hand over the suspects and the stolen machine to them when they get here.”

He noted that the case would be monitored to ensure that the machine was returned to its owner.

As of the time of filing this report, attempts to speak to the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, were unsuccessful.

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BREAKING: Kidnap kingpin, Evans, sentenced to 21 years imprisonment

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Kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, have been sentenced to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.

The sentence was issued by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday.

Both convicts had been accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos.

After succeeding with the abduction, they demanded $2 million as ransome.

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Pleading not guilty, Justice Taiwo proceeded with the sentence on the grounds that it would serve as a deterrent to other aspiring kidnappers.

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Flutterwave accused of data breach, unauthorise access to customer account (Photos)

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An investigative journalist and Twitter lord, David Hundeyin, has again attacked Flutterwave over data breach and unathourised access to his inactive Barter account, a lifestyle payments solution by the company.

This won’t be the first time Hundeyin would be dragging the fintech company. Recall that Freelanews reports how Flutterwave’s CEO was being investigated over allegations of financial misconduct as a result of an exclusive report by the controversial journalist.

In a series of post on his Twitter handle, Hundeyin claimed his account was logged into and threatened the platform of serious consequences if any fraud is perpetrated by impersonating him.

“Hi @theflutterwave. I have sent an email requesting immediate deactivation of my inactive Barter account.

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“Someone has somehow gained access to that account without hacking my email which is impossible without an internal data breach from your end,” he wrote.

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.12 pm (1)

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.12 pm

While analysing the break-in, the journalist explained that his username was messed with.

“The person logged into my Barter account which is paired to a Wema Bank account linked to my BVN (which is viewable under the ‘security’ tab), and changed the name on the account.

“I cannot begin to describe the amount of trouble you are in if any fraud is carried out in my name,” he submitted.

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.31 pm

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.31 pm (1)

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