The lifeless body of 22-year- old Oluwabamise Ayanola, who was declared missing on February 26, 2022, after boarding a Lagos Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, was found at the morgue of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, weekend.
But her private part, according to her family, was chopped off, indicating that she could have been a victim of ritual killing.
The deceased, a fashion designer, was said to have boarded the BRT bus with number plate 240257 from Chevron bus stop to Oshodi, at about 7 p.m, heading to her elder brother’s place at Idimu. But she never got to her destination and could not be reached on her phone until her remains were found.
Fleeing driver of the BRT bus, Andrew Nice, 47, was arrested in his hideout at Ososa, Ogun State, by the Department of State Services. He was, thereafter, handed over to the Police. The suspect who admitted to have killed the female passenger was arrested alongside a man that harboured him.
Late Oluwabamise, according to her elder brother, Pelumi, who was contacted said, she noticed she was not safe on the bus. She was said to have sent voice notes to the undisclosed friend and a short video.
At one point, her friend said she could not respond to her voice notes anymore.
Pelumi said: “Her telephone conversations with her friend revealed what happened. When she entered the bus, she suspected foul play and she started making voice notes and snapping pictures and a short video that showed that she was in the vehicle.
“When the whole thing happened, she wasn’t responding to the voice notes any longer and the friend she was chatting with called her but she didn’t pick up at first. When she struggled to pick, the lady said she heard struggling voices underground”.
Eyewitnesses, according to Pelumi, stated that Bamise was thrown out of the BRT bus that night but that she did not die on the spot.
He said: “Eyewitnesses said she was dropped off from a BRT at Ebute Ero, accompanied by a particular SUV. She was not dead at that time. They had taken what they wanted from her before dropping her off.”
When asked what was taken from her, he responded: “Her private part was missing. There was blood on her. She beckoned for help. But at that time, who would help? And the BRT driver returned the vehicle to their terminal.”
The picture painted by the whole scenario indicates that there must be a syndicate and that there is an organised crime going on.
Blames BRT management
“Management of BRT was kind of playing us. I believe they found the body for a long time but never told us. The Police too, we reported she was missing at the Police station, for over a week, yet, we did not hear anything.
“We reported at Jakande division, the jurisdiction that covers the area that the incident happened. The Police told us they had sent a signal to the Command Headquarters. We were also at Akinpelu, Mosafejo, Maroko divisions and the State CID, Panti.”
Aged mother, sister faint
Her mother, according to him, fainted when she heard the news of Bamise’s death. The deceased’s immediate pregnant sister also fainted upon hearing the news.
“We are devastated, I don’t know if I am the one speaking with you, I just know I am trying to put myself together. Bamise was the last born, she could stay in any of her siblings’ house, from where she went to work, or at our parents’ at Ayobo.
“She was at our eldest sister’s place at Ota when she got this present job. She was fond of staying with me. She was actually on her way to my place at Idimu that fateful day. She boarded the BRT at Chevron bus stop, heading to Oshodi from where she would board another commercial bus to Ejigbo and thereafter, to my place.
“That same BRT bus that conveyed her had not stopped working since the incident happened. Who knows how many people have been kidnapped after Bamise, who did not have the opportunity to do what Bamise did. How many people have they been killing that didn’t get that chance to do what Bamise did?”
BRT driver, 2 others arrested
Meanwhile, the driver of the BRT bus that conveyed the deceased has been arrested. Two persons who stood as his guarantors were earlier arrested.
Parading the suspect before journalists at the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, yesterday, the command boss, CP Abiodun Alabi, said: “As soon as the report was received by the police, detectives were dispatched and search parties organised to trace the whereabouts of the missing lady.
“We were also in synergy with other relevant strategic partners with the determination and strength within our capacity to unravel the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the innocent, promising young lady.
“Sadly, while intensive investigation was ongoing, information was received that the victim’s lifeless body was found on the Carter Bridge by Ogogoro Community, Lagos Island. The corpse has since been recovered and deposited at the mortuary of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, for autopsy.
“While our operatives were working tirelessly and were almost closing on the suspect in his criminal hideout in Ogun State, information was received from our sister agency, the DSS, that he had been arrested by their operatives.”The arrest of the suspects consoles us because concerted efforts of the police and our strategic partners eventually yielded the desired result.
“The suspect, Andrew Nice, 47, was subsequently handed over to the police for further necessary actions.
“As the suspect is being paraded today, we want to assure the public and indeed the bereaved family of the victim that justice will be served in this case. May we also use this medium to sound a note of warning to criminal elements in the state that no crime will go undetected and that criminals will not go unpunished.
“The command has strengthened its security architecture and repositioned officers and men towards providing adequate and sustainable security for all and sundry in the state. This, we are confident, will prevent future occurrence of this sad incident.”
Alabi disclosed that the suspect admitted culpability in the death of Bamise, adding that he was yet to open up on how and why he committed the act.