The Ogun State Police Command has intercepted a mini truck conveying 34,865 live cartridges through Ilara border from the Republic of Togo to Onitsha in Anambra States.
The police also arrested three suspects, including a Togolese, Isa Muhammad and two Nigerians, Alabi Fayemi and Seyi Bamgbose in connections with the crime.
The truck and the suspects were arrested by a stop-and-search border patrol team at Olohunda, a border town between Abeokuta North and Imeko Afon local government areas of the State.
While parading the suspects at the Imeko Police Station, Saturday, the Commissioner of Police in the State, Ahmed Iliyasu said the suspect were arrested by border patrol led by an Assistance Commissioner of Police, Shettima Muhammad.
He said, “Our operatives on border patrol led by ACP Shettima Muhammad while on routine patrol of the border area based on intelligence, intercepted a Toyota Dyna Mini truck with registration number KSF 254 XX with some cartons neatly concealed therein.
“The mode of the concealment aroused the suspicion of our men consequent upon which the vehicle was stopped and properly searched. Upon the search, 34, 865 live cartridges were discovered in cartons neatly concealed inside the vehicle.”
Isa Muhammad who is the prime suspect while speaking with journalists said the vehicle was given to him by one of his Nigerian customers based in Onitsha to help drive.
Isa said since he doesn’t not have a valid drivers licence, he approaches another friend of his, Bamgbose, who is a qualified driver to help in driving the vehicle while he serve as motor boy.
According to him, the vehicle was successfully brought into Nigeria from Republic of Togo and they were enroute Abeokuta for a repair work on the vehicle when they were arrested by the Police.
While denying knowledge of the ammunition, Isa said he didn’t know the name of the man that gave the vehicle to him and would have taken the vehicle to Onitsha thinking it was empty.
Corroborating Isa, Bamgbose, also claimed that he was only called upon by Isa for them to collaborate and engage in charcoal business.
He said, “I know Isa in Idi Iroko border and he used to sleep in my house whenever they come to Nigeria with his boss. One day I told him I don’t have a job again because my vehicle was sized by the Customs.
“Recently, he called me that a vehicle is available and I was happy because he told me it was a new vehicle. We went to Togo where the vehicle was packed, I observed that the vehicle was registered with Nigeria number.
“When we got to Nigeria, some of my friends told me that the spring of the vehicle was too small for charcoal business and I told him we should go to Abeokuta to repair the vehicle.
“While on the way, we were arrested at Imala and when I was asked to park, I complied because I know all the officers and I was sure the documents were up to date.
“I was even expecting the police to name their price since I know all of them but the story was different. Initially I thought the vehicle documents were not genuine but they told us later in the day that there was Indian hemp and ammunitions in the vehicle and I stated laughing because it was an empty vehicle.
“We were taken to the Station, this morning and even when we got to the station, I insisted it was an empty vehicle but when they started offloading, I was equally astonished, I didn’t expect what I saw from the vehicle because it was right in our presence that the content of the vehicle was offloaded.”