Operatives of Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a driver, Garuba Lawal, 36, who allegedly connived with three other persons in diverting his company’s 600 bags of flour before dismantling the truck for sale as junk.
Garuba, who was recruited by a haulage company (name withheld) the same day to move the 600 bags of flour to a bakery in Ibadan, Oyo State, claimed that he was lured into the act with N2 million by his accomplices.
The suspect told police that after loading at the Nigeria Flour Mills in Apapa, a young man, whose name was later given as Ismaila from Oyo State, approached him for a discussion.
According to him, “he invited me as I was about to drive out of the loading bay. He asked me how much I have made since I have been driving the truck. I replied him that I just joined the haulage company. “He asked me ‘have you ever seen money in your life?’ I said no. He asked ‘if you see N2 million, what would you do with it?’ I answered that I would quit this truck-driving job. He then told me that he would introduce me to a deal. That was how we started.”
Garuba continued: “While his two other colleagues were waiting in the car they brought, he took me to a corner and brought out a cowry. He told me that I would have to swallow it as a sign of bond and that anybody that divulges the secret between us would die instantly. “I swallowed it. Immediately I did that, I observed that whatever instruction he gave me, I was just obeying it without a second thought. “We entered Sagamu very early in the morning and all along, they acted as escort for the truck. One of them was in the truck with me, because the motor boy didn’t follow us.”
Dismantling the truck At Sagamu, Garuba said he was informed that the head of the truck had to be removed from the trailer because it could not enter the warehouse to offload the goods. “We then attached a new truck head and they gave me N50,000.
I drove the truck head to Kwara State in company of two other members of the team to sell it off. “We got to Ilorin around 7:15a.m and I took the two guys to where I live with my wife.
They promised to return with my share of N2 million as soon as banks open for business. They collected N15,000 for hotel accommodation from the N50,000 they gave me. “When I didn’t see them that day and the next, I agreed with a buyer to knock down the truck into pieces. The tyres, engine, radiator, chassis, and the rest were sold for N450,000.“After, we had dismantled it, the Lagos Rapid Response Squad, RRS, arrested me.”
Conductor missing – Sources at the haulage firm disclosed that they were yet to see the conductor that followed him on the said trip. This has fuelled the suspicion that he might have been killed by the gang. Garuba insisted that the conductor didn’t follow them on the trip.
Meanwhile, the motor boy’s phone has remained switched off since the incident. Investigation revealed that the gang that diverted the flour was the same gang which had been involved in several diversions of other products.
Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Olarinde Famous-Cole, said all the suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, SCID, for further investigation and prosecution. According to Vanguard.