Twelve suspected members of a highway robbery gang, who had in the past hijacked and diverted goods and petroleum products worth several millions of naira, have been arrested by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command.
The suspects were arrested at different locations in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Delta states, in an operation that lasted for 11 days.
Metro gathered that a supervisor with a petroleum company, Tunji Ajayi, narrowly escaped death as members of the gang attempted to kill him while trying to hijack a truck fully loaded with 45,000 litres of diesel.
The injured supervisor, whom the armed robbers reportedly thought was dead, had tried to persuade the gang members with N2 million not to kill him. But they were said to have kept attacking him until he became unconscious.
The supervisor, Metro learnt, was escorting the truck from a depot in Warri to Sango Ota in Ogun State, unknown to him that the driver had connived with armed robbers to hijack the truck.
The arrested gang members included Chibueze Nnamdi, Edwin Ozor, Sadiku Ganiu, Oluchukwu Oyema, Gbenga Aliyu, Chigozie Oby, Feranmi Michael, Adedeji Kehinde, Gbenga Akinboyewa and, Obina Ofunue.
Sources within RRS revealed that Akinboyewa and Ofunue were recruited by a syndicate in connivance with the driver of the diesel truck, Amara (now at large) to eliminate Ajayi.
The trio had at Ore at night, engaged Ajayi, overpowered him, before hitting him at the back of the head with a hammer. They were reported to have thereafter dropped his body in a ditch along the road before diverting the truck with the 45,000 diesel.
The syndicate, allegedly led by Nnamdi Ozor, Oluchukwu and one Shedrach, now at large, had raised N800,000 to pay for the services of those engaged in the course of the diesel diversion.
According to Nnamdi, “I invited Akinboyewa into the deal. I briefed him and he in turn invited Ofunue. The instruction we gave them was to tie the hands and legs of the escort and hide him somewhere so that within an hour, we would have closed the deal before he would be loose. I didn’t say they should kill him.”
“Biggy (Ozor) and I raised N800,000 to settle the boys, lodge them in a hotel, feed and take care of other emergencies in the course of the job. We promised Akinboyewa N500,000 for his gang’s own aspect of the job.”
“We drove the truck to Ijebu Ode where we discharged 2,800 litres. We proceeded to Lagos, where we offloaded 19,200, 14,000 and 8,400 in different filling stations.”
Preliminary investigations by the RRS also showed that members of the same syndicate had sometime last week hijacked a truck loaded with 410 bags of flour believed to belong to a popular company.
Bello, a kolanut dealer, had in his statement said that one Mustapha (at large) brought the flour deal to him, adding that, he bought each of the flour bag for N8,500 and added that he in turn sold them in Zamfara State at N9500 per bag.
The suspects had been transferred to the Criminal Investigations Department of the state police command, Panti, for further investigations.
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