Police Headquarters, Abuja
By Sheriff Balogun and Chiemelie Ezeobi
Ogun State Police Command Tuesday arrested the driver of the Ekenedili Chukwu bus conveying secondary school students who were robbed and raped last Saturday at Ogbere, Ore-Sagamu Expressway.
Four other suspects were arrested over the incident which is provoking national outrage.
The four other suspects are Oni Olopari, Innocent Omule, Gbenga Adebayo and Samuel Luca.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, an assistant superintendent of police, who disclosed in a statement made available to journalists yesterday, said the driver had identified Luca as one of the robbery suspects who attacked the bus.
Adejobi said the men were arrested at Ijebu-Ife/Mushin in Ogun State where some items were recovered, including the chairs that were in the attacked vehicle.
Investigation continued, he said, assuring the public that all those involved would be arrested.
A bus coming from Enugu to Lagos was allegedly waylaid by the robbers who barricaded the highway at about 11.30pm and raped the school girls.
The bus was hired by Holy Rosary School, Enugu, to convey the 42 girls to Lagos for the Easter celebrations.
THISDAY could not ascertain if the suspects would be charged with only robbery since the police had denied reports that some of the victims were raped.
Narrating her ordeal on Monday, one of the students said her menstrual flow saved her from being raped.
The 16-year-old, who spoke with journalists at her parents’ house, said some of her classmates were not that lucky as they were brutally raped by the men of the underworld.
The families and relatives of the students, last Sunday, stormed the Jibowu office of the transport company, in anger at the security lapse.
THISDAY gathered that the girls who were rushed to the hospital had been treated and discharged.
According to the victim, the robbers had raped her classmates out of frustration having found out that they were merely students and not businesswomen.
She said: “When they stopped our bus and forced us to the bush, they were angry when they discovered that we were only students instead of businessmen on their way to buy goods in Lagos.
“While they were quarrelling, one of the robbers pointed his gun at me and ordered me to strip. Even though I begged for mercy, he threatened to shoot me so I quickly pulled down my pant.
“I was shocked to discover that my pant was soaked with blood. Prior to the attack, I was not seeing my period.”
Noting that desperate measures call for desperate actions, she said a voice told her to take advantage of the blood and pretend she had been raped before.
She said: “I quickly told him that I had been raped before by one of the gang members.
“When he flashed his torchlight on my bloody pants, he took the blood as a sign that I was already dis-virgined by one of his gang members. He then left me alone.”
In the light of the incident, the Ogun State Police Command said it had intensified adequate patrol along the expressway by dividing it into smaller beats that would be commanded by senior police officers.
While saying that patrols had intensified in the Okeodo end of Ore-Sagamu Expressway, where the incident took place, the spokesman urged members of the public to avoid exposing their children or wards to both physical and moral dangers which are inherent in night travels.
But while the students maintained that they were raped, the state Police Command restated their ignorance of the said rape.
Adejobi said the police were not in the know of the rape as the students only complained about the robbery attack and not rape.