By Onozure Dania, LAGOS
A prosecution witness, Nneka Maryjane Odezulu, in the ongoing rape and murder trial of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) driver, Andrew Ominnikoron, on Monday, narrated to the court how she was raped from behind by the defendant.
Odezulu, the first prosecution witness, who was testifying before Justice Sherifat Sonaike, of Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa TBS, said the defendant raped her from behind after tearing her clothes.
She narrated that the defendant ordered her to remove her clothes, telling her she was not a baby.
The witness was led in examination-in-chief by the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo(SAN).
She said that before the defendant raped her, he slapped her and held her neck so tight she couldn’t breath.
How it happened
Odezulu, 29, a sales representative and a mother, said that on November 25, 2021, after she closed from her place of work, around 8p.m., she stood at Alesh Hotel Bus Stop, where she saw the BRT bus parked.
She approached the driver (the defendant) and asked him if he was going to get her bus stop — Jakande — and he said yes.
So she asked how much the fare was and he said N100; she boarded the bus and sat at the back.
The witness stated that about four seconds later, a man approached the defendant and asked him if he was going to Oshodi.
He said yes, then they started arguing about the price until the man left without entering the bus.
Odezulu said: “When I entered the BRT, the lights were on, but on getting to Lekki Conservation, Lekki-Ajah Expressway, he stopped the bus.
“He then brought out a drug and took it with water. I did not bother myself because I thought it was a normal medication.
“After that he asked me to come to the front seat, asking why I am sitting at the back.
“Then I stood up and went to sit at the front. Then he started asking me questions: my name, age, where I live; in the process he brought out his phone and talked about two transactions.
“Afterwards, said ‘back to our discussion’; and said let’s go and park somewhere and discuss.
“I said sir, I am coming back from work,tired and need to go and pick my daughter from after school. That was when I noticed that his manhood was up.
‘I held the chair, begging while he raped me from ehind’
“Then I brought out my phone, wanted to call somebody and record what was happening.
“He was like ‘what are you doing? Who do you want to call?’ He got up from the driver’s seat and collected my phone from me.
“He held on to a small knife and dragged me to the back and said I should pull off my clothes. I refused and we started dragging.
“He said I should remove everything because I was not a baby. He slapped me and held my neck and wanted to strangle me; I couldn’t breath again.
“Then his face changed and he said that if he kills me now, nothing will happen and nobody will know where I am that I should respect my self.
“He pushed me down at the back seat, I held the seats and was begging him. He held the knife, tore my clothes and raped me from the back.
“After that I told him to drop me. He said I told him that I was going to Jakande and he would drop me at my bus stop.
“On getting to my bus stop, I asked him to please give me my phone and open the door for me. He he started apologising that he was sorry for everything that happened.
“He said I should give him my account number, I told him, I don’t need his money.
“Then he said that I am being stubborn, that I don’t want to give him my account number.
“So I gave him my account number and he sent N3,000 and said I should use it to buy pain killers.
“He asked me to give him my phone number, I gave him before he gave me back my phone and then opened the bus door.
“Then I used my phone to record the plate number from the back.
“Few hours later he called me and said he was sorry. He asked me if I had gotten home, picked my daughter from after-school.
“I did not answer any of his questions. Then I ended the call. He called me back the next day and subsequently, but I did not pick his calls.”
‘I saw him fater the rape’
“After the incident, whenever I’m coming back from work and see any BRT bus, I looked inside to see if it was him.
“I have seen him like four times at that Chevron Tollgate, when he passed,” Odezulu said.
Asked if she reported the rape case at the police station, she said no, that she has had a bad experience with the police at Jakande and that if she had reported they would have insulted her.
The witness showed the court the striped dress she wore on the day she was raped by the defendant.
It was tendered before the court and the court admitted it in evidence as Exhibit 1.
However, the 47-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.
Consequently, Justice Sonaike, adjourned the case till tomorrow(Tuesday) for continuation of the trial.