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 in 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 in 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 in 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.
“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 in the back.
“Then I stood up and went to sit in the front. Then he started asking me questions what is my name, how old I am, who do I live with, in the process of asking me questions, he brought out his phone and talked about two transactions.
” So he concluded and said back to our discussion, and said let’s go and park somewhere and discuss. I said sir, I am coming back from work and I am tired and I need to go and pick my daughter from after school care, that was when I noticed that his manhood, was up.
” Then I brought out my big phone, I wanted to call somebody and record what was happening, he was like what I’m I doing, who do I want to call with my phone, 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 was like why will I pull off my clothes, do I know you before?
“We started dragging and 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 in 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 stop me that I want to come down, he said I told him that I was going to Jakande that he will drop me in my bus stop. On getting to my bus stop, I asked him to please give me my phone and open the door for me, then 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, the 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 N3000 and said I should use it to buy pain killers.
The witness further said ” He asked me to give him my phone number, I gave him before he gave me back my phone and then opened the BRT door. Then I used my big phone to record the plate number from the back.
“Few hours later he called me and said he was sorry, and asked me if I had gotten home, have I 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.
She also said that “After the incident, whenever I’m coming back from work and see any BRT Bus, I use to look inside to see if it was him. I have seen him like four times, in that Chevron Tollgate, when he passed”, Odezulu said.
When asked if she reported the rape case in the police station, she said no that she has had a bad experience with the police, in Jakande and that if she had reported they would have insaulted her.
The witness showed the court the stripped 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 today for continuation of the trial.
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