The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele, Lagos, has arrested a pastor, Peter Iyasele, and two others for allegedly hijacking a truck with N25m worth of goods in the Ijora area of Lagos.
PUNCH Metro learnt that while the two other suspects ─ Anthony Ibiade and Amas Debar ─ were arrested in Ijora, the 56-year-old clergy was arrested in Igando, Lagos.
Our correspondent gathered from the police that the hijacked truck, which contained 25 heavy duty outdoor airconditioners, belonging to a company based in Apapa, Lagos.
According to the police, the market value of the heavy duty air conditioners is about N25m.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects were arrested after information got to DCP Chris Ejike. He subsequently directed his men to trail the suspects who were on the move to sell the products.
Our correspondent learnt that after the truck, which was initially heading for Ikeja, was hijacked by the suspects, the airconditioners were taken to a warehouse in Ibadan, Oyo State.
However, after the police swooped on the suspects, 22 units of the products were recovered, while one had been vandalised. The remaining two were said to have been sold.
It was gathered that two members of the syndicate ─ Oliver and another whose name had yet to be known ─ were still at large and were believed to have sold the two air conditioners.
The police said the suspects were experts in hijacking and diverting trucks containing electronic appliances and other household items.
In his statement to the police, the pastor said he was working as a transporter before he took to hijacking trucks. He added that the new job was to “source for funds to sustain my church.”
Iyasele, an indigene of Edo State, said in his statement that he heard a call from God, but there was no money to pursue it. Hence, he had to source for funds to be able “to survive in the ministry”.
PUNCH Metro gathered that 38-year-old Debar and Ibiade, 53, were the first to be arrested by the police before they led detectives to the pastor.
Our correspondent learnt that Iyasele’s church is situated along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Ibiade, in his own statement, confessed to the police that he was the one who arranged for the driver who took the hijacked truck from Lagos to the warehouse in Ibadan.
A source at the Federal SARS told PUNCH Metro that the suspects, who were apprehended on Wednesday, September 10, had been charged to court.