Home News BRT/train collision: Witness recounts ordeal

BRT/train collision: Witness recounts ordeal

IKEJA- A prosecution witness, Oluwajani Fayokemi, on Friday recounted her ordeal  at the resumed trial of Oluwaseun Osibanjo, the driver of Lagos Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that collided with a train on March 9.

Fayokemi told an Ikeja high court  at the resume that  she was a victim of the collision.

Osibanjo is standing trial for involuntary manslaughter and causing grievous harm.

The prosecution witness said that she had been using the BRT 33, a Lagos State Government staff bus, driven by Osibanjo, since 2018 without any accidents.

According to the witness, on March 9,  the BRT travelled from Jakande Gate to Alausa Secretariat as usual.

She was led in evidence by  Mr Jonathan Ogunsanya, a Deputy Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

“When we  got to the PWD Junction of the train track, we heard the honk of a coming train.”

She said that the occupants  of the bus started calling on the driver whom they regarded to as ‘Oluomo’, but before they knew it, they heard a bang.

Fayokemi said that the train started pushing the bus on the track.

According to the witness,  she passed out at that point and did know what happened  around her for some minutes.

She said: “Few minutes later, I heard banging the door and glass; the banging woke me up. There were passers-by and ‘area boys’ trying to rescue passengers.

“I was carried on the legs and hands, by the boys, out of the bus because I could not move.

“They also carried other passengers who were injured out of the bus, while good Samaritans in private cars also assisted.

“There is one lady I know very well. Olayinka is her name. I saw that a stone hit her head and blood was gushing out of her head. Later on,  at LASUTH, I found out that she passed away.”

The prosecution counsel asked the witness if she recalled the number of victims of the accident  taken to LASUTH. She said that they were many and were heavily injured.

She said that another lady, known as Alhaja, also died, adding that she was aware that six victims of the accident died at LASUTH by the following day.

Defence counsel, Mr Lekan Egberongbe, asked the witness if she recalled her police statement after she regained consciousness, and she said that the account of the incident was still fresh.

Egberongbe then asked her to point out from her statement to the police, where she stated that passengers heard the honk of a coming train called on the driver.

The witness said that the aspect was not recorded in the her written statement.

The defence counsel asked where she was sitting  in the bus, and she said she sat in the middle.

The counsel then said that the driver should have been mostly affected considering that he sat in front, but the prosecution counsel objected.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala adjourned the matter until Nov. 8.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on May 2, Ogala remanded the defendant at the Kirikiri custodial  facility after his arraignment.

Osibanjo pleaded not guilty to a 16-count charge of involuntary manslaughter  brought against him by Lagos State Government.

The defendant’s alleged offences border on running into a moving train, causing grievous harm and involuntary manslaughter.

The alleged offences contravene the provision of Sections 244 and 245 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. (NAN)