Two dismissed soldiers arrested in Lagos for allegedly hijacking a truck carrying N13.5 million worth of goods have confessed engaging themselves in the escort of cargo as a way of surviving since they were dismissed from military service in 2015.
The Lagos State police command described the two men as leaders of an armed robbery gang that had been hijacking trucks and diverting goods on highways.
The dismissed military personnel were identified as Moses Johnson, a former lance corporal in the Nigerian Army and Lance Corporal Akintola Abiodun, formerly of the Nigerian Air Force. A third suspect is Osegbu Chidi, who was allegedly impersonating as an Army lance corporal.
Johnson told journalists yesterday at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, that he had been doing escort job of cargoes using his military uniform to stave off hunger.
“I never knew that this one was hijacked. I only got a call as usual from Oje Oloja to escort a truck from Ajah to Epe. They have not even paid us before our arrest. What happened was that a truck ran into our vehicle. While we were arguing, Oloja came and ordered one man to drive the truck away. I was at home when someone called to say that I should come for another escort job. I was arrested on arrival,” he said.
The police said the suspects, on September 2, 2018, intercepted a truck registration number LSR 266XW, laden with groundnut oil and valued at N13.5 million at Epe, Lagos.
The Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said that the dismissed soldiers, dressed in military uniforms, blocked the road, giving members of the public the impression they were real military personnel on legal duty.
Edgal said the gang stopped a Kano State-bound truck close to Ijebu Ode and pushed the driver and conductor out of the vehicle.
“At about 22.30 hours, policemen on stop-and-search duty saw the truck coming and intercepted it. In the process, Monday and Emeka were arrested, and during interrogation, they mentioned Johnson, Abiodun and Chidi as part of the people that hijacked the truck. The truck and goods were recovered intact and the suspects had been identified by the victims. They will soon be charged to court.”