Operatives of Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command on Sunday said they have arrested 12 suspects for attempting to murder a tanker escort and diversion of a 45,000 litre diesel laden truck.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident happened when the truck with the registration number ENU 751 XH conveying 45,000 litres of diesel it loaded at Optima Depot, Koko, Warri in Delta State was hijacked after some suspects hit the truck pilot with hammer at the back of the head and threw him into a ditch.
The police said the diversion was reported at Rapid Response Squad’s Headquarters in Alausa, where it was reported the officials declined to take up the case over jurisdiction.
It was further revealed that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police; Mr. Fatai Owoseni on hearing of the incident directed that the police swing into action immediately, noting that crime has no jurisdiction.
The operatives said in handling the case they spent 11- days shuttling Ondo State, Ogun State, Lagos and Edo State and picking up all the suspects allegedly involved in the diversion of the diesel and 410 bags of flour.
“As at yesterday, the operatives had arrested 23 people directly involved in the attempted murder of one Tunji Ajayi, the representative of Samsuat Petroleum, the diversion, buyers and sub – buyers of the products.
The complainant, Mrs. Nafisat Osinowo, in her statement at the RRS’s Office in Alausa, stated, “the diesel was meant to be delivered in Sango, Ogun State. Our representative escorting the truck called me when they got to Benin that the tyre of the truck was not good in the afternoon.
“He called again at 11:00 p.m. that the truck has been parked in Ore. It is our tradition not to travel at night. Our discussion was that they proceed on the journey at 5:00 a.m. the next day. That was the last time we spoke. Efforts to get him the following day proved abortive until few days later when we were called that he was in an intensive care unit at the hospital”.
The police revealed that Gbenga Akinboyewa (33) and Obinna Ofunue (29) were recruited by a syndicate in connivance with the driver of the diesel truck, Amara (now at large) to eliminate Tunji Ajayi, the representative of the owner of the product.
According to the police,”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, led by Chibueze Nnamdi, a building materials dealer in Ore, Ondo State, Edwin Ozor, Oluchukwu and one Shedrach, now at large, had raised N800, 000:00 to pay for the services of those engaged in the course of the diesel diversion.”
Confessing to crime Nnmadi said “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 was 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 Akinbiyewa N500, 000 for his own aspect of the job.”
He added that, “when we were in control of the truck, we drove to Ijebu Ode, where we discharged 2,800 litres. We proceeded to Lagos, where we offloaded 19,200 in one station, 14,000 in another and 8,400 in the last filling station.
The police said the suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti.