(UPDATE) Train-BRT: What I Saw After Accident- Witness Tells Court

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A witness to the collision between a train and a Bus Rapid Transit at the PWD area of Lagos on March 9, 2023, Oluwajani Fayokemi, who is also a prosecution witness in the ongoing case, told an Ikeja High Court on Friday what she saw after the accident.

Punch Headlines gathered that Fayokemi said at the resumed trial that when the passengers, who were state government workers, heard the honk of the oncoming train, they called on the driver, Osibanjo Oluwaseun, to stop but that the next thing they heard was a loud bang.

She said she was unconscious for some time after the collision and that when she woke up, she saw a stone hit the head of another passenger and blood started gushing out. She said passersby and area boys swiftly came to their rescue.

No fewer than six persons died in the accident while about 80 persons were said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries. The Lagos State Government had arraigned the driver before Justice Oyindamola Ogala on a 16-count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter, in contravention of Sections 244 and 245 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. The driver however pleaded not guilty.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins, had told the court that the BRT driver negligently killed the victims and inflicted grievous harm on other passengers on the bus by ignoring warning signals and running into the train.

Meanwhile at the resumed trial on Friday, Fayokemi told the court that she was a victim of the collision, noting that she had been using the BRT 33, a staff bus driven by Osibanjo, since 2018 without any accident.

Led in evidence by a deputy director in the state Ministry of Justice, Mr Jonathan Ogunsanya, the witness explained that the bus travelled from Jakande Gate to the state secretariat at Alausa as usual.

“When we got to the PWD junction of the train track, we heard the honk of a coming train,” she noted, adding that the occupants of the bus started calling on the driver whom they referred to as Oluomo but the next thing heard was a bang.

Fayokemi said the train started pushing the bus along the track and that she passed out at that point and didn’t know what happened around her for some minutes.

She added, “Few minutes later, I heard people banging the door and glass; the banging woke me up. There were passersby and ‘area boys’ trying to rescue passengers.

“I was carried on my 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 was one lady I knew 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 taken to LASUTH but she said they were many and heavily injured, adding that another lady, known as Alhaja, also died.

The defence counsel, Mr Lekan Egberongbe, asked the witness if she recalled her statement to the police after she regained consciousness, and she said the incident was still fresh in her memory.

The counsel asked her to point out in her statement to the police where she stated that passengers heard the honk of a coming train and called on the driver. The witness said the aspect was not recorded in 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.

Ogala, who had remanded the defendant at the Kirikiri custodial centre after his arraignment on May 2, adjourned the matter until November 8.





Credit: The Punch News

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