The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the State will probe and unravel the circumstances surrounding the alleged disappearance and death of 22-year-old lady, Miss Oluwabamishe Ayanwole, while in transit on a BRT bus.
He said that stiff punishment would await anyone found culpable in what he described as a “criminal and dastardly act”.
Sanwo-Olu made this known in a statement signed by his Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary in which he said the State Government remained determined to pursue the matter transparently and to a logical conclusion, but cautioned those making attempt to twist the issue with unfounded insinuation and conjectures to desist from making comments that may pre-empt outcome of investigation being conducted by security agencies.
The Governor said those raising allegations of cover-up against the State Government were low-minded and had no conscience, stressing that there should be no reason for anyone to trivialise an incident that claimed the life of an innocent citizen.
Sanwo-Olu spoke to newsmen during an event held on Tuesday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Onikan to commemorate International Women’s Day.
“There is an investigation that is currently going on and because it is a criminal matter, only the police are empowered constitutionally to fully unravel all of the events that happened, which led to the death of the lady. The development has been condemned at the highest level of the Government. I personally stand to condemn it and offer condolences to the family of our citizen, Oluwabamishe.
“I have read some narratives and write-ups in the social media in the last few hours. Some people are deliberately and extremely being sensational, posting that Lagos State Government wants to cover something; even my person. These people trivialise life, which appears to me like they just want to score a cheap point. These people are of low minds and have no conscience.
“Our Government will certainly not be deterred with such wicked narratives. What we are about is to ensure that we transparently get to the roots of the matter. That is why the police and the Department of State Service (DSS) picked up the driver, who ran to another State, where he was arrested. Full wrath of the law will be applied on whoever is found wanting in this matter. And we will ensure the incident does not repeat itself,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Sanwo-Olu expressed confidence in the ability of the police to conduct thorough investigation and expose anyone or group of persons behind the death of the bus passenger.
The Governor also reacted to some of the concerns raised by the public on safety measures put in place before the incident, especially on absence of short-circuit cameras in BRT buses.
He said there were inbuilt cameras and trackers in buses procured abroad for BRT operations. But those acquired locally to shore up the BRT fleet did not have cameras, the Governor said, pointing out that the particular bus in which the slain victim rode was one of the buses locally supplied.
The Governor promised that safety measures on Government-owned buses would be improved upon in order to prevent re-occurrence of similar incident. He, however, cautioned members of the public not to board BRT buses after the close of bus services in the evening, noting that buses that have closed for the day would indicate by switching off its inner lights.
When BRT drivers switch off their inner lights, Sanwo-Olu said the buses were expected to be taken back empty to their yards.
“Any bus that has its inner lights on at night is certainly still on service. Once the lights are off and the radar in the bus is not displaying, people should desist from boarding such bus, because it is no longer in service at that period. By that time, the checker and conductor would have been out of the bus, except the driver who is expected to take the empty bus back to their yards,” the Governor said.