By Godfrey Bivbere and Providence Adeyinka
THE Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has arrested five persons, Lawal Abiola; Afeez Rasaq; Akeem Gbolahan; Idowu Jelili and Safiriyu Oyebanji over alleged involvement in the stealing of a 40-foot container of Cocoa worth N55 million meant for export to the United States of America, USA.
The five suspects were alleged to have connived to steal the consignment that was contracted to one Kolawale Idowu of No. 3 Olawumi Academic Zone, Ibadan, on December 17, 2020.
The Police report noted that the police involvement was as a result of a complaint on December 31, 2020, at about 1800hrs by Princewill Etonu, of No 5, Araba, behind Modern Linda House, Agbara, Ogun State and Adueyusi Gabriel of AMA Ventures, adding that since the incident the suspect refused to pick his call hence the case was reported.
On the strength of the report, a team of detectives led by Inspector Ochai Sunday of Divisional Crime Branch was detailed for discreet investigation.
The police investigation revealed that IVECO truck with Reg. No. FKJ 287 XD was tracked to one Amidu Lukman Fola of Fola tyre Street, Sawmill Oyo State, GSM 08066202410, investigation activities were carried out to Oyo State Police Command leading to the arrest of five suspects namely: Lawal Abiola; Afeez Rasaq; Akeem Gbolahan; Idowu Jelili and Safiriyu Oyebanji.
Both suspects made confessional statement admitting to having sold off the produce and scraped the container, one unregistered Lexus Jeep with Chasis No. 2T2GK31U98C032180 was recovered from Afeez Rasaq as a proceed of the theft while an Infinix android phone was also recovered from Lawal Abiola.
Further findings from police show that the Grimaldi Container number ACLU 0209715766 booked for export of the cocoa produce was stolen by the suspects alongside the container.
The police concluded that concerted effort and collaboration is in process for possible apprehension of fleeing culprits and recovery of the stolen container and the content.
They recommended that the relevant individuals, corporate bodies, consignees, agencies, and beneficiaries be informed by the complainant for the purpose of indemnity, responsibility, sustained waiver and necessary action while the investigation is ongoing.