The dismissed policemen, Nwafor Onyebuchi and Idakole Benjamin, were among the seven suspects allegedly specialised in hijacking trucks loaded with goods on the Sagamu-Ijebu Ode Expressway.
The spokesperson of the command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, revealed in a statement on Tuesday that five other suspects including Ibrahim Musa, Abolade Shola, Ikem Ejimofor, Adebayo Jamiu and Ayeye Edwin, were arrested following a distress call received at the Odogbolu divisional headquarters.
Oyeyemi said the police received the call on December 8, 2021, around 3am.
He explained that a gang of robbers blocked the expressway and hijacked a truck loaded with Blue Band products of the Unilever Nigeria Limited.
According to him, “The robbers overpowered the driver and motor boy, took them to the bush, and tied them down there before taking away the truck.
“On the strength of the distress call, the DPO, Odogbolu division, SP Awoniyi Adekunle, quickly led his patrol team to the scene, but the hoodlums had moved from there before their arrival.
“They started tracing the hoodlums based on the description of the hijacked truck. Their efforts paid off when the truck was sighted at the Nairaland area of the expressway moving towards the Ijebu-Ode Road.
“They were given a hot chase and three of the hoodlums, namely; Musa Ibrahim, Shola Abolade and Edwin Ayeye, were arrested, while others escaped in a Honda space wagon car.”
Oyeyemi added that the fleeing suspects contacted a lawyer and informed him that the police had unlawfully arrested their friends.
They reportedly asked the lawyer to secure their release from custody.
“On getting to the office of the DPO, the lawyer was told to produce those that briefed him about the case before those in police custody would be released.
The lawyer there and then called them to come as the case was about to be settled.
“The duo of Nwafor Onyebuchi and Idakole Benjamin, who were later identified as dismissed police sergeants, then came around and they were arrested by the DPO and his men.
“On interrogation, the suspects confessed to blocking the expressway and hijacking the Blue Band loaded truck from the driver after tying down the driver and his motor boy.
“The suspects were transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation on the orders of the Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole,” the police spokesman added.
He further explained that the suspects, after investigation, confessed that they had so far hijacked four trucks loaded with different types of goods, including diapers, fruit drinks, butter and flour.
They reportedly confessed that the value of the hijacked goods was N25,688,000.
Oyeyemi said, “They confessed further that they had a ready-made buyer in one Alhaji Jamiu, who lived 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 truck the suspects used to block the road when the last truck was hijacked, Ikem Ejimofor, on his part, confessed to being the receiver of all the robbed goods which he bought at a very ridiculous price.”