A mini truck conveying 34,865 live cartridges from the neighbouring Republic of Togo through a Nigerian boarder town in Ogun, to Onitsha, in Anambra state has been intercepted by the Ogun State Police Command.
Arrested with the truck were three suspects – a Togolese, Isa Muhammad and two Nigerians, Alabi Fayemi and Seyi Bamgbose.
The Ogun State commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, paraded the suspects who were arrested on Friday 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, before newsmen at Imeko Police Station, on Saturday.
He disclosed that the cartridges were neatly concealed inside the truck with registration number Lagos, KSF 254 XX and was being transported to Onitsha in Anambra State.
Iliyasu told journalists that the suspects offered financial inducement to the officers who rejected it.
He said the suspects will face the full wrath of the law.
“Our operatives on border patrol led by ACP Shettima Muhammad while on routine patrol of the border area on Friday, based on intelligence report, 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, who stopped the vehicle and properly searched it.
“Upon the search, 34, 865 live cartridges were discovered in cartons neatly concealed inside the vehicle,” he said.
The commissioner said that the police have commenced further investigations into the matter and would soon charge the suspects to court.
The prime suspect, Muhammad, told journalists that one of his Nigerian customers based in Onitsha gave him the vehicle to help him drive.
He said he had to approach another friend, Bamgbose, who had a valid driving licence to drive while he (Mohammed) served as a motor boy.
Muhammad, denied knowledge of the ammunition inside the truck, insisting he could have taken the truck to Onitsha believing it was empty.
He, however, could not give the name of the person, who gave him the truck.
He said: “I am 36 years old and a bus conductor.
“A friend called me that he has one small vehicle but I told him that I don’t have a driver’s license but I have some of my friends that can drive.
“We took the vehicle from Togo and when we got to Nigeria, Seyi said the spring was too small for charcoal business and we were taking it to Abeokuta to fix the spring.
“On our way, the Police stopped us and said they suspected the vehicle.
“I don’t know the owner of the motor but he usually come to Togo to buy vehicles and okirika (used cloths) and when he gave me the vehicle, he said I should bring it to Onitsha and call him when I get there.
“We were not aware that anything was concealed in the vehicle. We thought we were driving an empty vehicle.
I have called the owner immediately we were arrested and he spoke with the police,” he claimed.