At the age of 24, Tochukwu Akaolisa was not satisfied with what he was able to achieve since he relocated to Lagos in 2009. In his quest to get rich quick, he conspired with three others to divert a container load of electronic goods worth N15million belonging to his employer, Mr. Innocent Akaolisa who is also his paternal uncle.
He, however, ran out of luck when operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Zone 2 police command, Onikan, Lagos, tracked them down and arrested him and three others. Others that were arrested are Nnanna Nwachukwu, Monday Aigbe and Udochukwu Otuosieme.
They were picked up at Ore in Ondo State while they were off loading the goods at the warehouse of their agreed buyer, Seun Samuel who escaped as soon as he learnt of the presence of policemen on his street.
At the police station, Tochukwu admitted that he was the mastermind behind the diversion but explained that he was moved to do it because his employer was no longer paying them for their services in his haulage company.
“After my secondary education, I relocated to Lagos in search of greener pasture. I started as an apprentice at Alaba market but along the line, my uncle, Chief Innocent allowed me to join him in his company. He is the owner of Appointed Time Haulage Company which is also in Alaba international market. Our duty is to help offload containers and we agreed that for each container, we will be paid N1600.
Initially, he was consistent in paying us after work because he was not paying us salary. Suddenly, he changed and sometimes will force us to go home emptyhanded after the day’s job. I felt bad and kept begging him to pay us our money. It got to a state that the other workers wanted to revolt or start stealing from him but since he is my blood relative, I will beg them to be patient.
“After some months and he continued to shortchange us, I felt bad and decided to find a way out. I started making plans because I wanted to travel out of the country and the girl that I wanted to marry could leave me if I am not fast. A lot of men have started asking for her hand in marriage because she is a good girl. If I don’t pay her bride price they could take her away from me. I discovered that it would be difficult to divert one of the containers,” he said.
On how he perfected it, Tochukwu explained that he duplicated some of the keys of the trucks and waited for an opportunity. “I told some of my colleagues in the company of my plan and they promised to keep quite even if they notice anything abnormal. I also contacted my friend, Nnanna who is based in Aba to come and drive the truck. On September 21, 2015, we loaded a truck load of electronics and since I knew the value, decided that it was time. Meanwhile, someone directed me that as soon as we get to Ore, that it will be very easy to sell the product. As soon as the driver of the truck went out to eat in preparation for the long journey, I alerted Nnanna and he drove off the truck with the duplicate key. We had moved down to Ore and handed over the truck to a buyer. We were waiting for them to bring the agreed sum which was N5million when the police came and arrested us.
“I am not an armed robber neither have I stolen from anyone in the past. I only did it to help my economy. If my uncle was nice to us, I would never have thought of stealing from him. He is my father’s younger brother, so he has no choice but to forgive his nephew. I am very sorry and am convinced that my uncle will not send me to jail.”
Nnanna, the driver, in his own statement at the police station, said that he saw it as an opportunity to make quick money. “Tochukwu called me that he needed me to drive a truck. I have been out of work and desperate to get something doing. It was when I got to Lagos that I realised that I was invited to divert a truck. Since I knew the true position, I told Tockukwu that he would pay me N400, 000 or no deal. He initially offered me N50, 000 but when I realised the risk involved, I had to increase the money. We were successful and were waiting for the buyer to bring the money when policemen arrested us. I know it’s a crime but I thank God that the goods were recovered in tact, so the police have no reason to detain me.”
On their arrest, Saturday Sun gathered that police acted on information that a 40ft container load of electronics valued at N15 million loaded at Alaba International market, Ojo – Lagos and destined for Ilorin, Kwara State, has been diverted to Ore in Ondo State.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, headquarters, AIG Bala Hassan directed the OC SARS. SP Peter Gana to fish them out at any cost.
A team of policemen led by ASP Wilson Edward swung into action and laid ambush around an uncompleted building at Ore owned by one Samuel Seun still at large where the goods were offloaded.
In the course of interrogation, it was discovered that one Tochukwu Akaolisa, the younger brother to one Innocent Akaolisa and the managing director of Appointed Time Haulage company connived with two others in the company—Monday Aigbe and Udochukwu Otuosieme, to divert and sell the goods while the proceed will be shared among them.
In executing the plan, they hired the services of one Nnanna Nwachukwu, a driver from Aba, duplicated the key of the truck with registraion No.AAA378XL that loaded the goods and while the driver of the truck and the conductor went to eat, they stole and went away with the truck and the goods. After offloading the goods at Ore and waiting for a buyer, they drove the truck to Benin bypass and abandoned it there.
Confirming their arrest, Zone 2 spokesman, CSP Adebowale Lawal assured that the suspect will be charged to court at the end of investigation.