Such issue as this is fast becoming a recurring issue in the country.and we pray something drastic is done to secure life and property in Nigeria
A luxury bus conveying secondary school girls from Enugu to Lagos State was attacked by armed robbers at the Okeodo end of Ore-Sagamu Expressway, Ogun State on Saturday,31st March ,2012.
The students numbering 42 were of Holy Cross College, Enugu and had hired the bus belonging to Ekene Dili Chukwu Group of Companies with registration number Lagos XW 875 LSR, for their travel to Lagos.
According to several news reports from leading media like Punch,Sun,Vanguard,it learnt that the assailants dragged the students into a nearby bush and beat them before robbing them of their belongings. Unconfirmed reports however said a few of them were raped.
It was further learnt that the incident occurred around 11:40pm.
It was also gathered that the students had departed for Lagos early in the afternoon on Saturday but were held up in traffic and had to continue the journey into the night.
The report said the bus developed some faults along the way and had to park at Oke-Odo.
It was while the occupants of the bus were waiting for another bus from Lagos that the robbers struck, it added.
It was learnt that families of the victims, who were already at the Lagos office of Ekene Dili Chukwu, to pick up their children were anxious when they learnt that the bus developed fault.
The news of the robbery caused a mild protest as they panicked.
Calm however returned to the terminal on Sunday morning after the distraught girls arrived in Lagos. Meanwhile, parents and relatives of the victims have threatened a show-down with the transport company.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the attack, told our correspondent that policemen had rescued victims and recovered the vehicle.
He said, “Around 7:30am on Sunday, one Friday Odi, a driver working with Ekene Dili Chukwu, Nig. Ltd, who drove the vehicle with registration number, Lagos XW 875 LSR, reported that at 11:40pm, on Saturday, while conveying 42 female students of Holy Cross Rosary College, Enugu to Lagos, armed men in Oke Odo area, along Ore-Sagamu Expressway stopped their vehicle.
“The hoodlums drove them to a point in the bush where they were robbed. Policemen traced the hijacked bus, rescued and evacuated the students to their Lagos destination. They towed the vehicle to the station and released it to the owner on bond. Nobody was injured.”
The matter had also been reported at Sabo Police Division, Lagos.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, however told our correspondent that the case would be handled by the Ogun Police Command under whose jurisdiction the crime took place.
A member of the National Union of road Transport Workers, attached to the Jibowu terminal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the relatives of the victims picketed the Lagos office of the transport company on the grounds that some of the victims were raped.
“Some of the parents claimed that their daughters were raped. I think a 13-year-old girl was raped by the hoodlums,” he said.
The police in Lagos and Ogun states, however, said that they were unaware of any rape.
"HOW WE WERE ROBBED"
Courtesy:The Guardian,TUESDAY, 03 APRIL 2012.
AMID tears, a 16 year- old student of Holy Rosary College, Enugu (names withheld) narrated how she and other passengers were robbed and raped at the weekend at about 11pm along the Ore-Shagamu Expressway, Ogun state.
Meanwhile, armed bandits yesterday struck at Abeokuta, snatching N3.5million from a petrol dealer in the metropolis.
She told journalists in her Lagos residence that she was among the secondary school students on board Ekenedili chukwu luxury bus from Enugu to Lagos when their vehicle was attacked by 12-man gunmen. She ascribed their being alive to God’s mercy.
“It was a horrible experience, I was sleeping in the bus when suddenly, I heard shouts’ of “co-operate now or I will kill you”, I woke up to see heavily armed robbers . They robbed us one after the other. We yelled for help, but no one came to our aid because the robbers took us inside the bush. They were expecting huge sums of money from us because they thought we were businessmen from the East, but when they discovered that we are students, they were disappointed and they got angry and started raping us at random.
“ When they got to me, they collected my Nokia phone and the N1, 200 in my possession and attempted to rape me, but immediately I opened my body, my menses started and there was blood all over my body, so they left me without touching me.” she narrated.
During the robbery which reportedly lasted for several hours, some of the female students were raped in the process and dispossessed of their cash and other valuables.
The luxury bus was said to be chattered by the school authority to convey the students back to Lagos on Saturday. But it was said to have developed a fault, another vehicle was however subsequently sent by the company to continue the journey.
The delay on the arrival of the vehicle caused them to travel at night where unfortunately, robbers on reaching Oke-Odo at about 11.40pm intercepted the vehicle.
Not done, the robbers reportedly hijacked the bus, drove it into the bush where they had a filled day with the female teenagers.
Policemen from Ijebu-Ode Area command reportedly conveyed the students to Lagos after the driver of the bus identified as one Friday Odi lodged a report