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13.06.2023 news Two Sisters Ordered a Bolt Ride in Benin. They Returned Home With Bruises

Published 13th Jun, 2023

By Abimbola Abatta

Following a shocking encounter with a Bolt driver in Benin, the capital of Edo State, on June 9, two sisters were left with bruises.

One of the sisters shared her experience on Twitter and demanded a positive response from Bolt, a ride-hailing company, over the issue.

Tweet by victim of assault from Bolt driver

READ ALSO: Lagos Landlord, Daughter Assault Tenant for Inviting Friends to Help Move Her Belongings Out

One of the sisters, identified as Prudence, told FIJ that she and her younger sister “needed to be somewhere” on Friday night when they booked a Bolt ride around 10:00 pm.

“My sister handled the call with the driver. We used my cousin’s phone to book the ride because my phone was not connecting to Bolt,” she told FIJ.

“After talking to the driver to describe where we were, my sister told me she did not feel comfortable with the driver’s response. She said he did not sound like someone who wanted to have a phone conversation.

“We confirmed the number plate and greeted him when he arrived, but he did not respond to our greeting. I just assumed he was one of those drivers who did not like to talk.”

She said the estate security, where the driver had picked them up, wanted to know why the guy had rushed in without waiting to disclose where he was going within the estate.

“The estate security said the driver just drove by. He apologised, said he was a Bolt driver and was in a hurry,” said Prudence.

Prudence's bruised knee
Prudence’s bruised knee

‘HE WENT OFFLINE AND KEPT MUTE’

Prudence said the Bolt driver had already gone offline while they were leaving the estate and offered no explanation.

“My sister asked him why he went offline, but he did not respond. He did not even stop to apologise or say something,” she said.

She explained that her sister was agitated at this point, considering how uncomfortable she seemed when she spoke with the driver after booking the ride.

“My sister said she wanted to come down as she was not comfortable with the ride. I told her to calm down,” said Prudence.

“But the guy did not even say anything. The only statement he gave was that he would take us to our destination. He gave no explanation for going offline.

“Then my sister said she was not interested in going anymore. When she told him she would open her side of the door, he started controlling the lock from his side. It was now a battle of opening and closing the lock between my sister and him.”

Prudence's younger sister
Prudence’s younger sister

SLAP, BLOWS AND BRUISES

According to Prudence, her sister, who sat in the back seat, eventually opened the car’s door on one side and left it open. But this did not deter the Bolt driver who kept driving.

She added that the driver did not stop the car until the door hooked another car. That was when Prudence and her sister jumped out of the vehicle.

“He now came down and slapped my sister. He was claiming that she damaged his car. I had to come between them. Then I received some blows,” Prudence said.

“He threw stones at my arm too, and we were left with bruises and scratches. My sister had a cut that was bleeding, and I even fell in the course of the attack. I had a sprain in my ankle.

Prudence's younger sister
Prudence’s younger sister

“People were already gathering and were trying to stop him. That was when he drove off.”

She said the entire incident, from when they boarded the vehicle to when they stepped out of the car, lasted for about 20 to 30 minutes.

FIJ learned that the trouble with the Bolt driver did not end there, as he made threatening phone calls to the sisters.

“He said he was going to deal with us. We had to call my cousin, who came to pick us up from that spot. My cousin noticed the calls we were receiving from the Bolt driver. He answered the phone and the Bolt guy threatened to paralyse him,” she said.

Prudence's bruised arm
Prudence’s bruised arm

When contacted via a phone call on Tuesday afternoon, the Bolt driver abruptly ended the call amid FIJ’s introduction. A message was subsequently sent to him, but FIJ had not heard from him at publication time.

READ ALSO: SPECIAL REPORT: Bolt Drivers Harm, Steal From Nigerians — And the Company Is Helpless

BOLT’S RESPONSE

The sisters reported the incident to Bolt’s support team on June 10, but Prudence said the company had not taken decisive action in addressing the matter.

“They promised to get back to us, but they have not really taken a definite step. They just told us they had suspended the guy’s account,” said Prudence.

She also told FIJ that the driver’s record had been erased from the app because the ride history failed to provide the driver’s information.

The ride history showing 'no driver provided'
The ride history showing ‘no driver provided’

When FIJ reached out to Bolt for comments via its official Twitter handle, the company said it was aware of “this unfortunate incident and is deeply saddened about it”.

“We would like to assure you that we are offering our full cooperation to the police regarding this matter. However, we cannot comment further on this as it is part of an ongoing police investigation. Bolt will continue to offer full disclosure to the police accordingly,” the company told FIJ.

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Published 13th Jun, 2023

By Abimbola Abatta

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