Missing BRT Passenger: Viral Voice Notes Revealed She Struggled With Her Abductors –Brother
By Onome Naomi
The family of Bamise Ayanwole, a 21-year-old tailor, has raised the alarm over her alleged kidnapping by a Lagos Bus Services Limited driver.
Since February 25, 2022, when she boarded an LBSL bus, also known as a BRT, in the Chevron area of Lekki en route to Oshodi, her whereabouts have been unknown.
According to City Round, the Ekiti State native boarded the bus at 7:30 p.m. and became suspicious when the driver, who has yet to be identified, told her to sit in one of the back seats.
Bamise, who became uneasy, sent voice notes and a short clip to one of her friends, according to a source who did not want to be identified.
“The driver picked up two men and one woman on her way home.” This helped her relax a little. She then informed us that she would be landing at Oworonshoki. When we called her, we noticed something odd about the way she spoke. We tried to contact her again, but her phone was unreachable; we waited a while, assuming it was probably due to a low battery, only for her parents to contact us on Sunday to inform us that Bamise wasn’t home yet, and we’ve been at the Oshodi BRT Terminal 3 since then. We were instructed to sit and wait for the driver. The driver failed to appear, according to the source.
Bamise was heard telling a friend in Yoruba that the bus stopped to pick her up but did not pick up other passengers in a series of voice notes exchanges that were shared on social media.
She was said to have made a short video showing the silhouette of a driver and what appeared to be the vehicle number when she sensed danger.
The clip, which City Round obtained, also revealed that the bus was poorly lit.Her mother was seen wailing in front of a bus with the number 240257 in one of the LBSL terminals, which was said to be the bus Bamise had boarded, in a video that went viral on social media.
“This is the vehicle in which Bamise sat. It’s been put in a parking spot. They claim they haven’t been able to locate the driver. Bamise got on the bus in Ajah and stated that she was going to Oshodi. The vehicle arrived at its destination, but the child was unable to return home. We haven’t been able to locate her. They must locate Bamise on my behalf. She bemoaned, “I didn’t tell her to go to Lagos to die.”
The missing lady’s older brother, James, told our correspondent on Friday that during her last phone conversation with her, Bamise was heard struggling with someone on the bus.
Since the 21-year-old went missing, James said the family has been having sleepless nights.
“The driver took to his heels,” he said. He is still on the loose as we speak. We discovered that he no longer resides in the location where he claimed to do so. It’s a kidnapping situation.
“We could have said it was a missing person case if the driver had been available.” She also got on the bus, and three people were picked up along the way. She didn’t answer the phone when she was called. She was heard struggling with a man when she picked up the phone, so this isn’t a case of a missing person. This (kidnapping) appears to be ongoing.
“As a result of my investigation, I discovered that the company lacks proper documentation for its drivers. We discovered that the driver had moved over a year ago from where he claimed to be living, and that his guarantor no longer lives where he claimed to be living. The corporation is attempting to push us aside and keep the story out of the press. Our parents are aware, but due to their age, we had to persuade them that everything is fine. But we’ve been having trouble sleeping.”
Caroline Oni, Bamise’s former mistress, said the family had been informed that LBSL drivers were not allowed to pick up passengers in the area after 6 p.m. because the buses were supposed to be returned empty to the terminal.
Police are on the lookout for the driver and have arrested the guarantor.
The police, on the other hand, said they were looking into a missing person case and that the suspect’s guarantor had been arrested.
“The investigation has been handed over to the state CID. We’re looking into the situation. We have the driver’s guarantor in custody, and he is assisting us with our investigation. We’re working on it. DSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Police Public Relations Officer, said, “We will continue to update you.”
When contacted, Afolabi Olawale, the Lagos Bus Services Limited’s Public Affairs Officer, said the company would wait for the results of the police investigation before stating its position.
“Right now, it’s being handled by the police and the Department of State Services,” Olawale said.
“Only the police will answer that question,” he said when our correspondent asked if he could confirm whether the suspect was an LBSL Employee.
However there was a press release by CP of Lagos State today March 5th, 2022, it reads:
This is to inform the general public and particularly assure the distraught family of Ms Ayanwole Oluwabamise, a 22-year-old lady who boarded a BRT bus in Lagos from Chevron bus stop, Lekki, heading to Oshodi on 26th February, 2022 at about 1900hrs and has not been seen till date.
As soon as the report got to the police, investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the lady was immediately initiated.
To ensure a speedy and diligent investigation, the Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, fdc, mnim, psc, immediately directed the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti to take over the case.
In the course of ongoing investigation, two suspects have been arrested and are currently helping in our investigation.
While assuring that police detectives will continue to work assiduously to find the missing lady and bring her abductors to justice, the Command wishes to appeal to anyone with useful information that could help in our investigation to promptly give it to us for further necessary actions.
Subject who hails from Moba L.G.A. in Ekiti State, is about 5 feet plus tall, dark in complexion and speaks Yoruba and English languages well.
This isolate incident notwithstanding, the Police Command is committed to protecting lives and properties of all residents of the State at all times.