A graduate driver of the Dangote Sugar Refinery, Kolawole Odetunde, has been arrested by policemen from the Ikoyi Police Division.
The 50-year-old was arrested for allegedly diverting 900 bags of sugar meant for delivery to a customer of the company in Jigawa State.
The suspect, who joined the company in December 2015, was alleged to have driven the truck to Kano State, where he sold the goods for N6.9m, at the rate of N7,800 per bag.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Odetunde, after selling the sugar, returned to the Apapa factory where he got the goods, parked the truck in front of the company, and fled.
He was said to have been arrested in February in a hotel in Ibadan, Oyo State, after a complaint was lodged by the senior transport manager of the company.
Investigations also led to the arrest of other accomplices –Mogaji Huseini, Sefianu Musa, Alhassan Mohammed, Usman Idris and Mohammed Lawal.
However, Odetunde claimed that he was attacked by one Land Turner, aka James Bond, adding that the suspect took him and his conductors hostage.
The Boluwaduro, Osun State indigene, said, “ On January 26, I left Ogere with my truck and two motor boys. When I got to Bode-Saadu, I met a traffic due to the bad state of the road. I passed the night there. At Tegina, one Land Turner, aka James Bond, hijacked our vehicle.
“He ordered us to drive to Kano, where one Huseini joined the truck to lead us to the Singer Market. The 900 bags were sold there.
“I did not set my eyes on James Bond again. He was the one who collected the money from the buyers.
“A young man was given N100, 000 to give to me to find my way back to Lagos.”
He explained that he fled because he was afraid of being arrested, adding that he was innocent.
However, 37-year-old Huseini told the police that Odetunde contracted him to find a seller for the goods.
The Bacharawa, Kano State indigene, said he was paid N200,000 for his role.
He said, “When I received a call from Kolawole’s motor boys to find a buyer for bags of Dangote sugar, I immediately called Musa, who contacted Alhassan, who indicated interest.
“Musa and I met Odetunde, who said the price was N8,000 per bag. Musa called Alhassan, who offered N7,800 per bag.”
Huseini said Odetunde was paid N3.5m immediately.
“The driver collected the N3.5m and asked his conductors to wait and collect the balance of N3.4m. He then compensated me with N200,000,” he added.
The suspects were arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on four counts.
The charges read in part, “That you, Kolawole Odetunde, Mogaji Huseini, Sefianu Musa, Alhassan Mohammed, Usman Idris and Mohammed Lawal, on January 29, 2016, between 5pm and 7pm, between Lagos and Kano states, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: stealing.”
The police prosecutor, Cyriacus Osuji, said the offences were punishable under sections 409, 285 and 362 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
The counsel for the defendants applied for their bail in liberal terms.
The magistrate, Mrs. S.K. Matepo, admitted them to bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.The case was adjourned till March 23, 2016.