Judiciary News

BRT/Train Collision: Survivor Recounts Experience In Court

•Says I Saw My Bone Fell To The Floor

A survivor of the BRT/Train collision in Lagos on Friday told narrated before Justice Oyindamola Ogala how he survived the crash that claimed several lives.

Lagos State Government on Friday presented two witnesses  in the trial of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) driver, Oluwaseun Osibanjo, who allegedly caused grievous harm and involuntary manslaughter by running into a moving train with the bus.

The state Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Babajide Martins, presented one of the survivors of the accident, Mr Rotimi Ogundeji, and a vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), Mr Ahmed Baruwa, to testify for the prosecution.

Osibanjo is standing trial before an Ikeja High Court.

Ogundeji,  a 38-year-old  civil servant with Lagos State  Water Regulatory Commission, told the court that the bus took off  from Ikotun on March 9, and he boarded it at Isolo.

He said the passengers prayed and listened to newspaper review on radio on their way, after which he slept off.

“The next thing I heard was ‘haaaa’, and I quickly opened my eyes to check what was going on. I was seated  two sits behind the driver.

“Less than five seconds after I jumped up, I could see the train from the window side and I knew the train would hit us.

“The next thing I saw was my bone on the floor. One of the staff in the bus managed  to stand up and I quickly told him to pick up my phone  for me.

“After that,  some two men came  in to rescue me,” he testified.

The witness said that a car conveyed four of the passengers to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where they were given medical attention.

According to him, a doctor at LASUTH pushed his  broken bone inside and a surgery was done on him a week after.

He told the court the he did not know the total number of people that  died in the accident and that the usual capacity of the bus was between  70 and 80.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Lekan Egberongbe, the witness told to the court that he knew the defendant as a hard working and committed person.

“He had never had accident with the bus apart from this one.

“I was sleeping when the accident happened,” he said.

The second witness, the VIO officer, testified that he inspected the  remnant of the BRT after it was towed to the state Task Force Office at Alausa, Ikeja.

According to the officer, the bus was electronically and mechanically built.

“The driver was supposed to carry 40 passengers sitting and 30 standing  but there were 85 passengers in the bus on that  day,” the  officer said.

Under cross-examination, the witness said that he did not witness the accident and that he was not in the Forensic Department of the VIO.

A Lagos State VIO road inspection report was admitted in evidence.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala adjourned the case until June 16 for ruling on the defendant’s bail application as well as continuation of trial.

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