No fewer than three commercial tricyclists in Awa-Ijebu have been arrested by the Nigerian Police for allegedly stealing 300 bags of cement from a warehouse owned by a private company in Ogun State.
It was gathered that the suspects, identified as Lawal Bidemi, Olalekan Azeez, and Opeloyeru Kayode allegedly conspired to steal 300 bags of cement from the warehouse belonging to Sandtrust quarry company.
Confirming this, the Ogun police public relations officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement released yesterday, said the suspects were apprehended in a bush close to the warehouse where they kept the stolen items.
Oyeyemi explained that their arrest followed a report lodged at Awa Ijebu divisional headquarters, by a staff of the company, who reported that he saw some people in a bush very close to the quarry loading cement, suspected to be the company’s cement into their tricycles.
The police communique stated that upon the report, the DPO Awa Ijebu division, Adewalehinmi Joshua, mobilized his patrol team and moved to the scene.
He said: “On sighting the policemen, the suspects took to their heels, but they were hotly chased, and three amongst them were apprehended by men of the operative.
“On interrogation, the three suspects confessed to have stolen the cement from the warehouse of Sandtrust quarry, and that they used their tricycles to convey it to the bush, from where they were taken to the buyers in batches.”
Oyeyemi, a deputy superintendent of police, said the suspects confessed further that they have sold parts of the stolen cement to their customers before they were caught.
He noted that about 51 bags of cement were recovered from the arrested tricyclists in the bush, while another 20 bags were recovered from one of the buyers, while the three tricycles they used for the operation were also impounded.
The police spokesperson further said the suspects, who were arrested on June 2, were granted administrative bail during the strike embarked on by judicial workers. He said the intention was to arraign the suspects once the court resumes, but they jumped bail.
“Surprisingly, the three suspects jumped bail and went ahead to accuse the DPO of demanding bribe from them, and that their refusal to bribe him made the DPO not release their tricycles. “They were subsequently traced to their hideout in Ijebu-Ode where they were re-arrested on the 26th of June 2021,” Oyeyemi said.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police, Edward Awolowo, has directed that the suspects be charged to court without further delay. The police boss also directed that their other accomplices as well as their buyers be hunted and brought to justice.