A prosecution witness, Nneka Maryjane Odezulu, in the on going rape and murder trial of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) driver, Andrew Ominnikoron, has 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 that she was not a baby.
The witness who was led in examination in chief by the Lagos State, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, said that before the defendant raped her, he slapped her and held her neck and she couldn’t breath again and he tried to strangle her and then tore her clothes.
Odezulu, 29, a sales representative and a mother, said that on November, 25, 2021, after she closed from her place of work, around 8pm, which is the time she normally close she stood at Alesh Hotel Bus Stop where she saw the BRT bus parked.
The witness said that she approached the driver 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, so she boarded the bus and sat at the back.
When 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 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.
Earlier the defendnat’s counsel, Mr Abayomi Omotubora, objected to the question of whether, the man that argued with the defendant later boarded the bus and if she reported the rape case to the police that it was a leading question.
He also objected to the admissibility of the exhibit sought to tender that it was not stated in the proof of evidence, and cited Section 221 (1) (3) 2011 and 36 (6), 1999, of the evidence act to butress his argument. He urged the court not to admit the exhibit in evidence.
In his response, the AG, urged the court to dismiss the objection of the defence counsel.
In a short ruling, Justice Sonaike, over ruled the objections of the defence, counsel that asking a witness if she reported the case to the police was not a suggestive question and admitted the exhibit in evidence.
At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, Onigbanjo SAN, informed the court that the prosecution had amended the charge and dated May 6 and an amended additional proof of evidence also dated May 6, 2022, pursuant to Section 155 and 251 (3) of the administration of criminal justice law of Lagos State, and urged the court to let the defendant retake his plea.
The five count amended charge was read to the defendant and he took his plea.
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 said that the defendant on November 25, 2021, allegedly raped a 29 year -old lady Nneka Maryjane Odezulu, without her consent.
It said that the incident took place at about 8pm, at Lekki- Ajah Conservation centre Lekki Ajah expressway Lagos.
The Prosecution also told the court that Ominnikoron conspired with others now at large conspired to commit rape and murdered his 22-year-old passenger, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a fashion designer.
It said that the defendant had sexual intercourse with Oluwabamise Ayanwole, without her consent and murdered her, at about 7pm, between Lekki Ajah expressway and Carter bridge, on February, 26, 2022.
The prosecution also said that the defendant and others at large on February 26, 2022, unlawfully killed one Oluwabamise Ayanwole by throwing her out of a moving bus between Lekki- Ajah expressway and Cater bridge.
The defendant was also accused of sexually assaulting a 29 year old woman one Victoria Anieke, on December 29, 2021, between Ikorodu and Mile 12 area of Lagos State.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed is 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.
Consequently, Justice Sonaike, adjourned the case till today for continuation of the trial.
Report From FRCN