8 charged to court for destroying BRT buses after hawker’s death in Maryland

8 people, including 4 teenagers have been arraigned by the Police before an Ebute-Meta Magistrate’s Court in relation to the vandalization of 48 BRT buses during a protest against the death of a street hawker in Maryland, Lagos.

After an assessment of the damage done to the buses, it was gathered that the cost of repairs would gross an estimated N139 million.

A 22-year-old hawker, John Nnamdi, had met his death on June 29 when he was crushed by a BRT bus while fleeing from officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), the enforcement agency of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment.

The pursuing KAI officers who were conducting a raid in the area took to their heels after the hawker was hit by the bus.

A mob gathered in protest of the hawker’s death and proceeded to vandalize any BRT bus in sight totaling 48 in number.

The suspects arraigned on Tuesday- Agu Israel (18), Idike Sylvester (23), Babizua Nwode (31), Ropo Babatunde (19), Anashi Philip (26), Ezekiel Ebonyi (21), Friday Nweze (19) and John Kalu (17) were charged with three counts of wilful damage and conduct likely to cause breach of the public peace.

The charge sheet listed the number plates of the 48 damaged vehicles.

It read in part, “That you, Agu Israel, Idike Sylvester, Babizua Nwode, Ropo Babatunde, Anashi Philip, Ezekiel Ebonyi, Friday Nweze, John Kalu and others at large, on June 29 2016, at about 2.30pm on Ikorodu Road, Anthony Bus stop, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did wilfully and unlawfully damaged 48 BRT buses, property of Primero Transport Services Limited.”

The police prosecutor, Sergeant Mariam Dauda, revealed that the offences were punishable under sections 409, 349 and 166 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and decided on summary trial.

The Magistrate, O.O. A. Fowowe-Erusiafe,granted bail in the sum of N1million each with two responsible sureties each in like sum.

He added that one of the sureties must be a relation of the defendants.

The case was adjourned till August 17, 2016.

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