By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos

Superintendent of Police Goddy Ihende, the seventh prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a Lagos Bus Rapid Transit driver, Andrew Ominikoron, accused of killing Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole, said in his testimony to the State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) that the case was originally reported as a kidnapping case.

Ihende, who gave testimony in the case before Justice Sherifat Sonaike, said that it was in the process of investigating the case that they later discovered that it was not a case of kidnap but a case of murder when the case went viral.

Ihende stated this while being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr Abayomi Omotubora.

Ominnikoron is facing a five-count charge bordering on rape, conspiracy, felony, sexual assault, and murder preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.

The prosecution told the court that Ominnikoron conspired with others now at large to rape and murdered his 22-year-old passenger, Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole.

It said that the defendant had sexual intercourse with Ayanwole, without her consent and murdered her, at about 7 pm, between Lekki Ajah expressway and Carter bridge, on February 26, 2022.

The prosecution alleged that the defendant and others now at large on February 26, 2022, unlawfully killed one Ayanwole by throwing her out of a moving bus between Lekki- Ajah expressway and Cater bridge.

The prosecution also said that the defendant on November 25, 2021, allegedly raped a 29-year-old lady Maryjane Odezulu, without her consent.

The incident took place at about 8 pm, at Lekki- Ajah Conservation centre Lekki Ajah expressway Lagos.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed are contrary to and punishable under Sections 411,223,260 and 165 of the criminal law of Lagos State 2015.

However, the 47-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.

The witness said after the discovery, he and his boss Assistant Superintendent of Police Razak Oseni, went to the Directorate of State Security office and took over the case.

Asked how he got to know that the case was with the DSS, he said “I don’t know how my commissioner of Police got to know that it was with the DSS.”

When asked if he knew that the case was already reported at the Ebutte- Ero Police division, he said yes that he took over the case from Ebutte -Ero Police division and that it was a passersby that reported the case at the station.

Asked if he could name the Police Investigation Officer that investigated the case at Ebutte-Ero Police Station.

He said ” I can’t remember the name of the IPO, but is rank ASP. I am the team leader.
Asked if he took statement from the complainant, Ihende answered that it is not in his position to obtain statement from the complainant.

“After the Police officers at Ebutte-Ero discovered the body they took the corpse to the mortuary and we started the investigation afresh. As of the time the case was reported at Ebutte-Ero the defendant was not in the picture of the case, what I investigated was murder.”

Further hearing in the case has been fixed for December 5.

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