The criminal act of diverting cargoes, sell off the cargoes and run away by some drivers in the haulage and logistics industry is gradually becoming a huge threat to the industry. Such evil act resulted in huge lost to a firm in the industry recently, after a truck driver allegedly connived with his motor boy and diverted a cargo worth over N20million, sold the cargo, set the truck ablaze and then run away.
The truck driver identified as Oghoeruke, Morrisson Oghenero is an employer of On Target Global Logistics Solutions Nigeria Limited, Lagos. He was said to have been sent from Lagos to deliver goods at Kogi state in January, 2017 but allegedly diverted the goods to Edo state where he sold off all the goods and subsequently set the truck ablaze. As of the time of filling this report, the suspect and his motor boy identified as Chimieze are at large and they are in the wanted list of the Nigeria police.
While narrating the incident to Haulage & Logistics Magazine at the company office recently, the head of operation, On Target Global Logistics Solutions Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mishael Chinosa reiterated that the driver was employed about two years ago, following the recommendation of the company engineer, who also stood as surety for him.
“It all started on 13th January, 2017. We sent the driver to go and load containerized goods from APM Terminal Apapa. After the goods was loaded, the driver with his boy left that very night; they stopped over at Shagamu and passed the night together with the other truck driver, because they were two trucks loaded with the same goods, heeding for same destination. The following day, which was Saturday 14th, the two trucks were supposed to move together; the goods they loaded was a customized Dangote tyres and they were expected to deliver the goods at Obajana Dangote Cement Plant in Kogi State”, Chinosa explained.
While speaking further, Chinosa reiterated that the driver of the other truck called Oghenero the following morning to continue with their journey, but he did not respond. “We have instructed our drivers that whenever they are going to Abuja or Kogi state, they should always move together and go through Ibadan because Benin- Auchi road is not good, but while the other driver has moved, Oghenero called him that he was not going through Ibadan but he want to go through Benin”, Chinosa explain.
Chinosa added that by 15th January, which was on Sunday, Oghenero was already at Aviele in Edo state with the goods, whereas; the other driver was already at his destination-Obajana Kogi State. Oghenero was also said to have told the other driver on that Sunday that his truck has developed head system problem and there is nobody to fix it until Monday morning.
“On Monday morning, I spoke with the other driver and he told me he was already offloading at Obajana but I couldn’t reach Oghenero and his motor boy. On Sunday, I made every effort to track the truck but I couldn’t. Thereafter, on that very night, because I couldn’t sleep, I was able to reach the motor boy and he told me they were at Auchi, claiming that the truck have developed head system problem and that they have contacted our engineer in Lagos but that was all I could hear from him. I tried to call him back but I couldn’t reach him again. I asked our engineer on Monday morning if truly they called him and he said they called him but he didn’t hear what they were saying and he’s still expecting their call; with that, I thought that what they said might be true since they called the engineer, unknown to me that they were just using that period to seal a deal.
“The second driver sent Oghenero’s second phone number to me but when I called the number, it was off, that was when I knew that there is serious problem. I check my tracker again later that day and now find out that the truck drove 2 kilometers from Auchi town and parked besides the road, this is the same truck I could not track for the past three days. With that, I thought within me that it means they were within Auchi, but what are they doing there? That was the question on my mind”, Chinosa explained.
Chinosa said he left Lagos for Auchi on Tuesday 17th and also told the other driver who was still at Kogi state to enter public transport to Auchi and trace the truck, adding that they eventually saw the truck at Aviele town but it was already empty and set ablaze. “We reported at the nearby police station and the police confirmed that the people of the community saw the truck burning and they helped to put out the fire”, Chinosa explained. Chinosa valued the Dangote customized brand new tyre at over N20million and that is besides the burnt truck.
Early February, it would be recalled that Dangote group had declared over 200 drivers wanted in the national daily in connection with Dangote tyre theft and sales and according to Chinosa, Oghenero has worked with Dangote before joining On Target Logistics Limited, pointing that he must have connived with some of the wanted drivers to carried out the evil act.
Chinosa however said that the driver has been working with the organization for two years and he was diligent, stressing that he’s not a new driver. He added that the driver was earning good remuneration before the incident happened, claiming that he was earning even more than other drivers in the industry.
According to Chinosa, Oghenero who is said to be from Ewu in Ughelli South, Delta State has parked out of his Lagos residence but the company is still looking for him. The matter as of press time is under investigation by the Nigeria Police.