Operatives of Ogun State Police Command say they have arrested seven members of a syndicate who specialise in hijacking trucks loaded with companies’ goods along Sagamu-Ijebu-Ode Expressway.
Crime report from the command gave the names of the suspects as; Onyegbuchi Nwafor, Idakole Benjamin, Ibrahim Musa, Abolade Shola, Ikem Ejimofor, Adebayo Jamiu and Ayeye Edwin.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi said the suspects were arrested following a distress call received at Odogbolu Divisional headquarters on the 8th of December, 2021, at about 3.00 am.
He said the distress call had it that a gang of armed robbers had blocked the expressway and hijacked a truck loaded with blue band products of Unilever Nigeria Ltd.
The state police spokesman explained that the robbers, overpowered the driver and motor-boy, took them to the bush and tied them down there before taking away the truck.
Acting on the distress call, he said the Divisional Police Officer, Odogbolu, SP Awoniyi Adekunle, quickly led his patrol team to the scene, but the hoodlums had moved away from there before their arrival.
Oyeyemi added that the patrol team started tracing the hoodlums based on the description of the hijacked truck.
Luckily, he said their efforts paid-off when the truck was sighted at Nairaland area of the Expressway moving towards Ijebu-Ode road.
Oyeyemi said further, “They were given hot chase and three among the hoodlums namely Musa Ibrahim, Shola Abolade, and Edwin Ayeye were arrested, while others escaped in a Honda space wagon car.
“In the morning of the same day, the escaped ones contacted a lawyer and informed him that police had unlawfully arrested some of their friends.
“They engaged the service of the lawyer to solicit for their release from police custody. On getting to the office of the DPO, the lawyer was told to produce those who briefed him about the case before those in police custody can be released.
“The lawyer there and then called them to come as the case is about to be settled. The duo of Nwafor Onyebuchi and Idakole Benjamin who was later identified as dismissed police sergeant then came around and they were subsequently arrested by the DPO and his men.”
Oyeyemi said during interrogation, the suspects confessed to being the ones that blocked the expressway and hijacked the blue band loaded truck from the driver after tying down the driver and his motor-boy.
He said the suspects were transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Abeokuta for discreet investigation on the order of the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole.
Oyeyemi added, “On getting to the SCIID, the suspects after thorough investigation confessed that they have so far hijacked four trucks loaded with different types of goods, such as pampers, Nutri C drinks, Blue band and Honey-well flour. The value of the hijacked goods so far is estimated to be #25,688,000
“They confessed further that they have a readymade buyer, in one Alhaji Jamiu who lives in Kwara State. The said Alhaji Jamiu was traced to Erin-Ile in Kwara State where he was promptly arrested.
“Their major receiver and financier Ikem Ejimofor was traced to Jakande Estate, in Lagos where he was also arrested.
“While Alhaji Jamiu confessed that it was his own truck the suspects used in blocking the road when the last truck was hijacked, Ikem Ejimofor on his part confessed being the receiver of all the robbed goods which he bought at a very ridiculous price.”
Meanwhile, the CP who commended his men for their painstaking investigation has directed that the suspects must be arraigned in court without delay.