Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) is insisting that Lagos State government should be held liable for the alleged ritual killing of a 22 year-old lady, Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole in Lagos.
HURIWA claims that since those who allegedly committed the heinous crime were employees of Lagos government who also used government facility to perpetuate the crime, Lagos State Government must pay N1 billion damages to the family of the victim.
Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwole reportedly got missing after boarding a Lagos Bus Rapid Transit vehicle at Chevron Bus Stop while returning to Ota from Ajah on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at about 7 p.m.
The BRT bus belonging to Lagos state government with plate number 240257 was said to be going to Oshodi when it picked Miss Ayanwole.
It was gathered that the victim worked as a Fashion Designer at Chevron Estate, Ajah and spends weekends at Ota, Ogun State, with her sister.
Sensing danger as the bus did not pick any other passenger at other bus stops, Oluwabamise had engaged a friend using voice notes on her phone.
The voice notes showed that the bus driver said he liked Oluwabamise and asked for her name and other details.
Oluwabamise told her friend to pray for her as she became suspicious of the bus driver and in response, the friend told her to alight at Oworonsoki bus stop before Oshodi bus stop.
Oluwabamise had also sent a video to her friend showing how dark it was in the bus and said, “There are three men and one woman in the bus. The woman is sitting at the back. That’s the number of the bus in case. Please pray for me.’’
That was the last that was heard from Oluwabamise, according to her mother.
The 22-year-old lady was later found dead, as confirmed by one of Ayanwole’s relatives.
It was learnt that her corpse was dropped on Lagos Island by a BRT vehicle and a jeep.
Upon sighting the corpse by the roadside, an unknown man reportedly informed officials of Ebute Ero Police Station on Saturday evening.
The corpse was later taken to the Mainland Hospital mortuary
Reacting to the incident, HURIWA, in a statement by it National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said that Lagos State government was liable.
“What this incident has shown is the legal liability of the Lagos state government because the bus and the facility where she was kidnapped belongs to the Lagos state government and the Chief Executive Officer of Lagos state government is the governor of Lagos state and since the legal entity, the business premises belongs to the Lagos state government, the government of Lagos State and the Governor must take direct responsibility for what has happened,” Onwubiko asserted.
“Whereas HURIWA applauds the Lagos state government and Lagos state Police Command for swiftly arresting the killer of miss Oluwabamise, but we still feel that this killing is totally avoidable if the Lagos state government had done forensic background checks of all the drivers and other staffs they are employing in their transport company.
“The Lagos State government owes the citizens the duty of care and the obligations to ensure that they are safe whilst using the services provided for by the government and paid for by the citizens.
“So, since the Lagos state government employed a ritual killer as a driver, they should be held responsible for the death of this innocent girl.
“The Lagos state government is advised to pay the sum of N1 billion to the family of the victim to avoid lengthy litigation.
“Lastly, the Lagos state government should undertake a comprehensive background assessment of all the drivers to be sure there is no other ritual killers embedded in the Lagos state transport services,” the statement added.