Lagos - A witness in the ongoing tribunal on the events leading to soldiers run rampant in Lagos in July told a panel how the accused soldiers destroyed some Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles in the city.
Razak Mustapha, a staff of Mutual Model Transport Ltd., sub-operator of the LAGBUS, told the three-man tribunal chaired by retired Justice Ebenezer Adebajo he was assigned to tow a bus that had broken down on July 4.
The witness said he got there about 5.30 am (local time) and was later joined by the company's mechanic, Ikechukwu Umeaku, to return the vehicle to their depot.
He said while attempting to start the bus, he saw a corpse inside the vehicle and immediately informed his colleague.
Mustapha said they came down from the bus and he called his supervisor to inform him of the development.
The witness said while waiting for further directive, a man came and saw the corpse inside the bus and later informed some soldiers who were passing by.
"They came out and entered the bus. They saw the body and checked his identity card. They now placed two soldiers to guard the bus and left. It was when they came back that they started shouting and destroying the bus. Then some started stopping other BRT buses. "There was confusion and people started gathering. Then a female soldier came and she started pouring fuel inside the bus,” the recounted.
"After that I saw three buses, one blue one and two red one on fire," Mustapha added.
Also testifying, Umeaku said he was assigned to repair the bus and two others which were faulty on July 3 at about 9.00pm.
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He said after fixing the other two vehicles which broke down at New Garage, Ojota and Orile respectively, he could not fix the one at Palmgrove because it was surrounded by area boys.
According to him, the next morning he went there and saw Mustapha already waiting for him.
"It was when we were inside the bus trying to repair it that Mustapha told me that there was a dead man inside the bus and that we should come down. I did not see the body. It was Mustapha who told me. So I ran away and went to report the matter to my boss in the depot," Umeaku said.
The matter was adjourned to Thursday for further hearing.
The tribunal of inquiry is aimed at investigating the motor accident and subsequent mayhem which occurred at Palmgrove Bus Stop in Ikorodu Road.
– CAJ News