By Precious Igbonwelundu, Lagos and Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
Police in Lagos on Monday intercepted a truck-load of cattle but which also had 42 passengers hidden in it.
The truck was coming from Zamfara State.
The truck was intercepted around Berger Bridge by a joint security team led by the Lagos State Taskforce on Environment.
The Nation reports that the people hid underneath the cows to avoid being discovered but were caught during a stop and search operation at the bridge.
The discovery has confirmed speculations that drivers were smuggling people from one state to the other in spite of the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari banning interstate travels as a means to contain further spread of COVID-19.
Some claimed that the drivers paid between N10,000 and N20,000 to agents to be allowed to carry passengers especially to Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kwara and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
A man, who left Oyo State to his village in Enugu two days after the government announced total lockdown of Ogun, Lagos and FCT and stopped interstate travels, said he bribed security operatives at Onitsha head bridge with N10,000.
“When we got to Onitsha Bridge, we met a checkpoint. Policemen and soldiers were manning it.
“We went closer and found out they wanted N50,000. I told them I had N10,000 but they said I should go and wait somewhere that I was not ready to continue with my trip. My family and I had to stay for a long time until they collected the money and we were allowed to move.
Lagos police spokesman Bala Elkana confirmed the interception of the truck, adding that the driver and his assistant were immediately ordered to return to where they came from.
In Kwara, police yesterday also intercepted a truck loaded with fruits with about 50 persons, comprising women, men, and young children hidden underneath the fruits.
The travelers who were also coming from Zamfara were immediately sent back. The command’s spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi said the travelers were detected through “actionable intelligence”.
mand on Monday intercepted a truck loaded with fruits with about 50 persons, comprising of women, men, and young children hidden underneath the fruits.
The travelers who were coming from Zamfara state were immediately sent out of the state.
The command’s Spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi, in his Twitter handle yesterday evening said that the people hid beneath a load of fruits inside a truck in an attempt to deceive law enforcement agents.
Mr. Okasanmi (DSP) said that the efforts were made possible through “actionable intelligence”, adding that the people had been sent back to Shinkafi, Zamfara state where they said they were coming from on the directives of the state commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.
“At about 8:30 am acting on actionable intelligence, men of the Kwara state police command intercepted a trailer loaded with supposed fruits but hidden beneath the fruits were women, men, and young children, totaling 50 being trafficked from Shinkafi, Zamfara state to Ogbomoso.
“The state Commissioner of police Kayode Egbetokun has directed that they are escorted back to Kwara state border with Niger state from where they said they came through”, the statement said.