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Police recover vehicle hijacked by Lagos killer taskforce




PUNCH Metro had reported that the officials killed a truck driver, identified simply as Toheeb during an illegal patrol in the area at midnight.

It was learnt that the 30-year-old victim had just departed Tincan Island when the officials who were in a branded white Hilux van accosted him at the edge of Mile 2 bridge.

While they attempted to forcefully hijack the truck, Toheeb jumped out of the vehicle and fled the scene.

Enraged by his action, one of the officials allegedly shot the victim in the back, while his motor boy was also dragged out of the truck and repeatedly hit with the butt of their rifle.

After carrying out their operation, the officials, who couldn’t take the deceased victim’s truck after the engine failed to start, decided to hijack another truck, forced the driver out and went away with it.

Toheeb’s death, however, led to a protest which was later quelled by the police.

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Taskforce, Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, also denied the involvement of the agency in a statement sent to PUNCH Metro.

An official of the Lagos Maritime Truck Owners, who spoke to our correspondent on Wednesday, said the truck was found at the LASTMA yard in the Oshodi area of the state on Tuesday afternoon following a frantic search by its members.

The official, who does not want his name in print said, “After the incident, some colleagues of Toheeb decided to embark on a search to locate where the vehicle was driven to. Around 2pm, we got a call from them that the truck had been found at the LASTMA yard. So, the police were immediately alerted.”

“We were told that the police went to the place and discovered that there were two officials of LASTMA responsible for how the truck got to the place. The Commissioner of Police had promised us yesterday (Tuesday) that he would track the location of the truck. So, we learnt he ordered them to bring the truck to the police command.”

The official had earlier disclosed to our correspondent during a visit to the scene of the incident on Tuesday that the unknown taskforce officers moved around with some other uniformed men, including armed thugs.

He added that some of them wore face masks to avoid being identified.

The spokesperson for LASTMA, Taofiq Adebayo, said the truck was towed by the rescue team of the agency.

He said, “We got a distress call that there was an abandoned vehicle at Cele Bus-stop around 6:30am. In order to prevent an avoidable accident, our rescue team went to the location to recover the vehicle and brought it down to our office.

“We never knew what transpired. It was later that we got to know that they were looking for a vehicle which was discovered to be in our compound. I can’t speak more than this because the matter is under investigation at the police command.”

A police source, however, confirmed to our correspondent that the truck had been taken to the state police command.

“The truck was brought to the command on Tuesday evening after some truck drivers notified the police of its location. Investigation is ongoing to unravel the cause of the incident and fish out the culprits.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, could not be reached as calls made to his phone were not answered. A text message sent to him had yet to be replied to as of the time this report was filed.