Two dismissed military personnel and three others who specialised in diverting trucks loaded with goods on highways were on Wednesday paraded by the Lagos State Police Command.
The suspect -Monday Ayele 42, Esowanne Emeka 30, Moses Johnson 25 (a dismissed soldier), Akintola Abiodun 25 (dismissed Airforce) and Osegbu Chidi 30 ( a fake soldier) – met their waterloo when they had attempted to divert a kano State bound truck laden with groundnut oil valued at over N13 million.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal who briefed journalists on the activities of the gang disclosed that the suspects were arrested on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018.
Speaking on how the gang members were arrested, Edgal said, “On the aforementioned date, at about 8pm,a Sterling truck with registration number LSR-266-XW, laden with groundnut oil valued at N13,250.000.00 was hijacked by a five man gang of highway robbers at Epe expressway.
“ They stopped the Kano State bound truck close to Ijebu Ode and pushed the conductor and the driver out of the vehicle. However, as the duo were trekking towards Epe-Lagos, they came across a policeman and narrated their ordeal to him.
“ The policeman immediately contacted some of the police stations along the route taken by the robbers and at about 11:30 pm same day, policemen on stop and search duty, saw the truck coming and intercepted it. In the process, one Monday Ayele aged 42 years and Esowanne Emeka aged 30 years were arrested.
“ During interrogation, they mentioned the following persons as part of the people that hijacked the truck, Viz:-
13NA/69/8811 Lance Cpl Moses Johnson age 25 years (a dismissed soldier),
13NAF/89/8811/ Lance Cpl Akintola Abiodun age 25 years (Dismissed Airforce personnel),
Cpl Osegbu Chidi aged 30 years (a fake soldier).”
Johnson who also spoke on his role in the robbery denied the act saying since he was dismissed in 2015, he had taken to escorting trucks for long distant vehicle.
Telling his story, Johnson said, “ I was at 1 Division Maiduguri Nigerian Army but was dimissed from in 2015 during the former President Jonathan led administartion. After my dismissal I had to keep pretending to be a serving soldier. I kept using my uniform since to escort vehicles.
“ On this particular incident, I was called by my friend Onoja to offer escort services to his boss.I was paid N10, 000 to render the service. I did not know what they were into. We didn’t hijack the truck. What happened that day was that the truck crossed us but Onoja ordered his driver and another mother to enter the truck and drive it. It was simply because they drove roughly. I did not hijack any truck.”
The Commissioner of Police also said that the truck with the goods were recovered intact and all the suspects have been identified by the victims.
He said the suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of the investigation.