The police have released pictures and names of suspects arrested in connection with a video that showed officers shooting at a truck in Ogun State on Saturday.
The video, about 19 seconds, showed police in a white Toyota Hilux van shooting at a truck and its driver around Shagamu and shared on Twitter Saturday afternoon, sparking a flurry of condemnation of the police and their conduct.
But the police absolved themselves of wrongdoing in another update sent to PREMIUM TIMES Monday afternoon about the incident, saying they prevented a truck with more than N2.7 million worth of lager beer from being stolen.
Ogun State police spokesperson Abimbola Oyeyemi told PREMIUM TIMES that the truck was conveying a large quantity of Trophy lager beer to Iragbiji, Osun State, from Ilesa when it was hijacked at gunpoint.
The suspects were arrested following a distress call to the police in Ogun State that a yellow truck with registration number: LEW 615 XA was hijacked by three armed men with its N2.714 million content in Ilesa and its tracking device indicated it was around Sagamu, Mr. Oyeyemi, an assistant superintendent of police, said.
The Sagamu Area Commander, Ibrahim Sa’ad Muhammad then placed all units in the area on red alert about the truck.
Officers intercepted the suspected robbers along Sagamu-Ore Expressway, but only after they had delivered the content of the truck to a buyer in Ode-Remo, about 27 kilometres north of Sagamu.
The online video of the incident showed how policemen in a white Toyota Hilux van caught up with the truck, pulled up by the driver’s side and fired a shot into the truck with an AK-47 rifle.
They also fired several shots at the vehicle’s tyres to demobilise it.
Some men in a vehicle driving a few metres from behind captured the moment, which abruptly ended at the 19-second mark.
Mr. Oyeyemi had told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday night that no one was killed or injured in the incident.
The police identified the driver of the stolen vehicle as Saheed Omotosho, adding that he had allegedly confessed to delivering the products to Adijat Azeez, a beer dealer in Ode-Remo.
The duo had been remanded at the police special anti-robbery squad facility in Ogun State on the order of state police commissioner Ahmed Ilyasu, the police said.
Mr. Oyeyemi told PREMIUM TIMES the suspects would be arraigned after they’ve provided information leading to the arrest of other suspected criminals that participated in the theft but who were still at large.
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately confirm if the two suspects had legal representatives.