BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
LAGOS — A 30-year-old woman, Precious Adebayo, yesterday, narrated how she escaped from a suspected ritualist, Taiwo Balogun, who disguised as a commercial bus driver.
Precious told Vanguard that at about 8 p.m. on June 5, 2013, she boarded a commercial bus at Iyana Orile bus stop in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area, LCDA.
According to her, “it was raining at the time. The bus driver (Balogun) was alone in the bus when I flagged him down and told him I was going to Iyana Ipaja.
“He stopped, picked me and sped off. On getting to Mobil petrol station on Old Ipaja road, just before the Lagos State exams board office, beside NYSC camp, he told me that because of the heavy traffic at the Iyana Ipaja under bridge, he wanted to go through some inner streets through Orile Agege LCDA office at Arigbanla. He said he would come out close to Iyana Ipaja through Aboru junction and I agreed.”
Precious said she became apprehensive when it took the driver several minutes navigating through inner streets without emerging anywhere.
According to her, “I complained that I was afraid as I no longer understood where we were and where the driver was heading to. I, therefore, told him to drop me so that I could find my way out to Iyana Ipaja bus stop.
“But he reassured me that we would soon emerge at the expressway where I will disembark. Shortly after this, the driver suddenly stopped in a dark corner and told me that he wanted to pick up something.
“He then came down, entered the vehicle from behind and grabbed me on the throat in a bid to choke me. I struggled to free myself but he held me tightly. He hit my face, head and nose with a wheel spanner and inflicted grievous injuries on my face and head.”
Precious said the suspected ritualist attempted to slit her throat and cut off her breast, saying: “He used knife in trying to cut my neck but did not succeed. He even tried to cut my breast, but God rescued me. This happened at Canal, near Pleasure, after Sawmill.”
Vanguard gathered that luck ran out on the suspect when his vehicle failed to start. And within that time Precious regained some strength, pushed open the bus door and screamed for help, which attracted people in the neighbourhood. When the driver noticed that people were coming towards them, he abandoned his bus and Precious.
However, the matter was reported to a police team at Iyana Ipaja under bridge who then radioed Elere police station, Agege. Officers from Elere Police Station then took Precious to the scene of the crime in the night and people in the neighbourhood deflated the four tyres of the bus.
Balogun was apprehended around 1:00 am the following morning, as he came back to stealthily remove his bus (unknown to him that the case had been reported to the police).
The case has subsequently been transferred to the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti Yaba, where the suspect is undergoing further interrogation.