Crime Reports gathered that the suspect, Daniel Ogunlade (25), was sent on an errand within Lagos by the company’s Managing Director on Christmas eve in 2015, but diverted the bus, a Toyota Hiace 2014 model with the registration number EKY 463 DM, to Ifo, Ogun State.
One Oyetade Ade (30) was also arrested in connection with the case.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni had on Christmas eve directed the Commander, Rapid Response Squad, ACP Olatunji Disu to work towards the recovery of the Toyota bus which was tracked to Ifo, after which the Sango Area Command secured the vehicle along with the two suspects.
Reports reaching Crime Reports indicated that Ogunlade, who had been working with the company for about three years, was directed to pick up a company client at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja and drop him in Ajao Estate, but he took the bus to Ifo, Ogun State where the Rapid Response Squad tracked the vehicle.
In a disclosure after his arrest, the suspect said that a pastor of a white garment church which he attends tutored him to tell his boss that armed robbers snatched the bus, a sum of N150,000 and a Christmas hamper from him.
Ogunlade, who stated that he was not too sure that the pastor (name withheld) was not using a supernatural power on him, added: “when I was on Third Mainland Bridge around 11.30 a.m., en route Muritala Muhammed International Airport to pick a client, I received two calls. One was from my father who told me that my mum was sick and the other one was from my pastor who directed that I should proceed to his church in Adiyan, Ogun State.
“As if propelled by forces beyond me, I headed straight to the church with the company’s bus. This was contrary to my itinerary for the day, which was to wait at the airport for the client with a delayed flight, drop him in Ajao Estate and give some people N150, 000 and return the vehicle to Lekki.
“At the church, the pastor told me to drop the hamper for him, even when I told him that my boss said I should give it to someone at the airport.
“He then asked if I knew that the day, December 24, 2015, was Imoke Day. I answered in the affirmative, and he directed me again to join the church there. A church member, Oyetade, joined me in the bus and I was in Ifo to buy fuel when the bus stopped moving. I invited an electrician and he was about to start working on it when we the police came.
“I called the pastor at about 7.30 p.m. to inform him that the bus had stopped working and he replied that I should tell my boss that armed robbers snatched the bus from me. I didn’t know what to say when my boss called me”.
Ogunlade expressed surprise that the pastor denied collecting the hamper from him, saying: “He abandoned me and a church member that I offered a ride at the petrol station. He didn’t even attempt to see us at the police station”
He stated that he wasn’t trying to run away with the bus and N150,000 his boss gave him, “I can’t explain exactly how I got to where the police arrested me. My boss was doing his best. He was paying me N60,000 monthly as salary. Though I am struggling with my finances, I never planned to steal the vehicle,” Ogunlade said.
Crime Reports learnt that the suspects, who were initially transferred from Sango Area Command, to the RRS headquarters in Ikeja, had been taken to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit, Ikeja, for further investigation.