The family of a 35-year-old baker, Hanofi Taofeek, has been thrown into mourning after he was crushed to death by a commercial bus driver, Arinze Okafor, on Iludun Street, in the Amukoko area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Hanofi was at his wife’s shop on Ajose Street, Off Amukoko Roundabout as they both prepared to go home together, when the bus, popularly called Korope, rammed into them.
He was said to have died on the spot, while his wife, Taiwo, lost consciousness and was admitted to the Apapa General Hospital.
Taiwo, who spoke to our correspondent on Tuesday, said she learnt of her husband’s death three weeks after she was discharged from the hospital.
She said, “Around 11 pm, my husband and I were heading home after I closed for the day. My husband worked as a manager in a bakery, while I sell noodles. He usually came to my shop so we could both go home together.”
“We were on the walkway and before we knew it, we were hit by a bus from behind. Three days after the fatal accident, I was told that I had been unconscious for three days, and it was after three weeks when I was discharged from the General Hospital that I learnt that my husband died on the spot.”
“I was informed by neighbours that the bus driver was in police custody at Amukoko. The IPO handling the case told me that he was going to withdraw the case since I didn’t have the money to pursue it. They asked me if I had money to pay for the case to go through but I told them that I didn’t. He also said the family of the suspect should just give me the money for the treatment alone without any justice being served. I don’t have anyone; my husband was the one who sent his two younger siblings to school and took care of them, now who will help us?”
“People around who knew the man who drove the bus that night said he was drunk; we also learned that he wasn’t the owner of the bus and he didn’t have a driving licence. He’s currently in custody. However, the police are being negligent and lenient with the matter.”
“All through my time at the hospital, none of the suspect’s family members came to check on me; my hospital bills were paid by my husband’s friend and my family.”The 29-year-old, who lamented the death of her husband, also demanded justice.
“We were married for three years with no children and now they have snatched my husband’s life. The family of the suspect was saying they would pay N1m but it would come for it by instalments every month, but I told them I wasn’t interested in their money. All I want is justice for the death of my husband,” she added.
A friend of the victim, Abiodun Razak, stated that he saved the driver from being lynched by hoodlums and took him to the Amukoko Police Station, where the matter was reported.
“The way the case is going is disheartening. The police keep asking if we have money to pursue the case,” he added.
A member of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Sunday Omolokun, stated that all efforts to ensure justice had been unfruitful.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said “the matter was charged to court today (Wednesday).”
@ Punch Newspaper