The worst nightmare of a 27-year-old model, Busayomi Adegun, became a reality on Tuesday morning, as she went to work only to end up being a victim of a vicious attack by robbers who molested her in what Lagosians call a ‘one-chance’ bus.
According to Adegun, who has shared the details of what happened on her Facebook account, the attack took place between Fadeyi, along Ikorodu Road where she boarded the Danfo bus heading to Oshodi.
Adegun’s story has attracted more than 5,000 comments within 24 hours, as she explained that she had become traumatised to the point where she just simply wanted to close her eyes and forget what had been done to her.
She said during the attack, she nearly lost her eyes when the hoodlums poured ground pepper in her eyes and on her breast in order to disorientate her.
Adegun, an Ekiti State indigene, said, “I woke up today with a smile on my face with full strength and a vision to start a beautiful day. But it all turned out to be a bad crying day, that I can never forget in my life.
“On my way to work this morning, I boarded an Oshodi bus from Fadeyi. Immediately I boarded the bus, the guy on my left side started complaining that the one at the back was trying to pick his pocket. Next thing (I knew), he changed position to my right side and said ‘Onipanu wa o’. Immediately, the one at the back hooked my neck and said ‘don’t shout’.
“The one beside the driver said, ‘Allow her to lie down on the floor’. They dragged me flat to the floor. They collected my bag and started asking questions: ‘Where do you work? Which school? Which course? What level?’ They asked for my name, my state. I told them I was a student. I kept answering the questions.”
According to Adegun, one of the eight assailants, picked her ATM card and handed it to another one. She said they asked for her PIN and as soon as she told them, the bus stopped and they dropped off the one who got the ATM card.
She said, “I started crying (wondering) if this is actually my end. Are they going to use me? Are they going to kill me? So many things started coming into my mind. I remembered my mum and my siblings. The 27 years ago story (sic) that can’t be forgotten in my family.
“I kept begging them not to hurt me. The man in front said if they found certain amount in my account, they won’t hurt me. But if I gave them a wrong PIN or (there was) no money in my account, they would call my family or they would rape me till I lost my last breath.
“I started praying silently calling for mercy. They were eight men. One was busy touching my breast, one hooked my neck down, one used his legs to pin my legs together. I kept crying, calling God to save me.”
Adegun said at this point, the one that had dropped earlier called them on the phone, then one in the front passed something to another at the back.
According to her account, one of the men ordered her to close her eyes but she said she decided that if she was going to die, she would see what they were about to do to her.
She said “Next thing (I knew) it was pepper. He put pepper in my two eyes, my breast and he was trying to open my trousers zip but he could not. I was screaming and could not see.
“I was trying to guide my eyes so that he would not put more pepper in it. I was holding on to my jeans so that he would not put pepper in my vagina, thinking they still wanted to rape me after they collected my phones, power bank, my sister’s money in my bag and change I had there.”
Adegun said after several traumatising minutes of screaming and struggling to keep her trousers on, the robbers eventually dropped her around Coker Bus Stop on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
But the trauma is not something she would forget for a very long time, she said.
“I am still not myself. I have never been handled like that in my life. I just want to close my eyes and forget everything but I can’t. It keeps playing in my head and is hurting me more,” Adegun said.
Adegun told our correspondent that by the time she got home, the robbers had withdrawn her entire savings from her modelling job, a total of N174,000 from her account.
“They took all my savings. They made withdrawal twice,” she explained.
Many reactions to Adegun’s story have raised questions on whether criminals in the state have resorted to operating early in the morning when most police patrol may still be scanty.
But the police have said Adegun had refused to report the case. As of Thursday when our correspondent spoke with her, she said she had initially gone to a police station at Ikorodu where she lived but was told to go to Onipanu Police Division, under whose jurisdication the attack occurred.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Dolapo Badmus, told our correspondent that she had made attempt to reach out to Adegun but had failed.
She said, “I will like to implore residents of the state that social media is not the best place to report crimes. When people fail to report cases, we assume it did not happen. We want her to come forward.
“But on whether we have fewer police presence in the early morning allowing criminals to operate easily, I will like to correct that impression. What we do in Lagos is visibility policing. There is no way you will go 500 meters without seeing a police vehicle. Lagos is cosmopolitan.
“We cannot eradicate all crimes, but we can bring them to the barest minimum. When people report cases, it will allow us to build an operational strategy and combat crime.”