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.
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.
It was 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 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.
Our correspondent was told that 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.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the matter was also 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 with our correspondent 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.
Source: The Punch