A driver, Eban-Prince Bekom, and his motor boy, Abiola Okon, are on the run after allegedly diverting goods worth over N16m belonging to their boss, Lateef Taofik.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Taofik assigned the duo to convey confectionaries from FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in the Ikeja area of Lagos State, to his warehouses in Mowe and Idiroko areas of Ogun State.
However, trouble started after Eban-Prince and Okon loaded their truck at the pick-up point and departed for the warehouse in Mowe, where they were scheduled to deliver some of the confectionaries.
After delivering the goods, Taofik told PUNCH Metro that the truck developed a mechanical fault in Mowe, but after it was repaired, Eban-Prince and Okon, who were supposed to depart for the warehouse in Idiroko, allegedly absconded with the goods.
He said, “My driver, Eban-Prince, and conductor (motor boy), Abiola Okon, drove down to WEMCO in Ikeja to load over N16m worth of confectionaries. They were supposed to deliver some of the goods to our warehouse in Mowe and bring the rest to Idiroko, but after the manager of the warehouse in Mowe discharged some of the loads last Thursday, we were expecting them at the warehouse in Idiroko on Friday morning, but didn’t see them.
“When I called the driver, he said the truck developed a mechanical fault, which prevented them from leaving Mowe on Thursday. He also said the man repairing the vehicle demanded N4,000 and I instructed him to collect the money from the manager of my warehouse in Mowe on Friday.
“When I called to know the condition of the vehicle in the evening, the driver ignored my calls; it was when I called my manager that I got to know that they had departed for Idiroko. But when I didn’t see them on Saturday morning, I called the driver, but his number didn’t connect.
“I later got across to the motor boy, who informed me that they were at the Berger area and explained that the truck developed another fault. I told him to put the driver on the phone, but he said the driver and mechanic were busy working underneath the truck. He told me to call back.”
Taofik said efforts to reconnect to the driver and motor boy’s numbers proved abortive, adding that instead of driving down to Idiroko, the duo diverted the consignment to Ijebu-Ode, where the remaining confectionaries were stolen and the truck abandoned.
He stated, “When I couldn’t get across to them, I called the person who introduced the driver to me and he asked us to visit his family’s house in Iju. But before we got there, the boy who introduced me to the driver and the mother of the motor boy had reported the incident at the Obasanjo Police Station, from where we were directed to the Mowe Police Station.
“I went to the station in Mowe on Monday, wrote a statement and they promised to investigate the case. But someone just informed me that the truck was seen in Ijebu-Ode and I have instructed my driver in Mowe to go to Ijebu-Ode for confirmation. We were also able to track their phone numbers to Ijebu-Ode.
“The truck was loaded with 1,000 cartons of Peak sachet milk and 1,400 slates of Peak filled evap valued at over N16m. But when my driver got to the abandoned truck in Ibeju-Ode, all the confectionaries had disappeared. The truck was empty.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said, “The case was reported and the vehicle has been recovered to the Mowe Police Station. The case is under investigation and we are trailing the driver and the motor boy, who escaped with the goods.”