The police in Lagos have arrested a commercial bus driver, identified only as Akeem, and his conductor, Sodiq, for allegedly robbing and raping a 22-year-old lady in the Costain, Iponri area of the state. Akeem and Sodiq, along with two others still at large, had picked the victim, Mercy (pseudonym) from the Obalende area, and were supposed to head for the Victoria Island where the victim reportedly had a job interview.
Our correspondent gathered that Mercy, who hails from Otupko, Benue State, and holds a Nigerian Certificate in Education, on March 10, had been called by a friend to attend the job interview. It was learnt that the suspects allegedly diverted to the Costain, Iponri area, assuring their victim that they were only taking a different route to the island.
When the bus got to Costain, under the bridge, the four allegedly robbed Mercy of her Automated Teller Machine card, her purse and other documents. The suspects also allegedly r.aped the lady before driving off.It was learnt that after the robbery, the victim went to report the matter at the Iponri Police Division.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects were not found until last Tuesday when members of a vigilance group in the area, who were also informed about the matter, nabbed the driver and his conductor and handed them over to the police.
Speaking with our correspondent, Mary said the suspects confused her because she was new in Lagos and she was not familiar with most of the roads. She said, “On that day, I was at Obalende when my friend called me that there was a job interview on the Victoria Island. So I entered a bus heading to the area. Not long after, three men entered as well. The driver drove towards CMS; when I inquired, the other passengers said I should be calm as he was still heading for the Island. I thought he was trying to avoid the traffic.
“When we got to the bridge in Costain, they stopped and they collected my purse, mobile phone, ATM card, PIN and N2,000 cash on me. After they left, I told my elder brother that some men had attacked me.He came and we both went to the Iponri division to make a report, but the robbers had withdrawn N120,000 through the ATM.”
An executive of the vigilance group, Ishola Musbau, said, “The case of a jobseeker being r.aped and robbed by miscreants was brought to our attention. It took us two weeks to fish out Akeem and Sodiq, and the victim identified them.The driver and the conductor were apprehended at a hideout in Itumara, Costain, where they usually gathered for robbery operations.”
Our correspondent gathered that the police were still hunting other fleeing members of the gang. A police source told PUNCH Metro that Akeem and Sodiq had already been charged to a magistrate’s court. The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, could not be reached for comment as of press time.