Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, on Tuesday, paraded a commercial boat helmsman, Bimbo Elebiju, for allegedly causing the death of 12 of his passengers while conveying them to their destinations, The PUNCH reports.
The victims were said to have drowned after the wave of a ship sailing along the Kirikiri waterfront made the boat, which engine had been switched off during an argument between Bimbo and his passengers over the fare, to capsize.
Odumosu, while parading Bimbo at the command headquarters in Ikeja, said 20 passengers boarded the boat from Kirikiri to Badagry, but while on the way, the passengers disagreed with the helmsman on the fare.
Odumosu said Bimbo indicated that the fare was N1,500, but the passengers insisted on paying N1,200, adding that the helmsman switched off the engine of the boat by the waterfront because of the N300 difference in fare.
He stated that when the ship sailed along, the wave made the boat to drift towards a stationary barge, where it capsized, adding that Bimbo jumped into the water, abandoned his passengers and escaped.
While five passengers were rescued, the CP said 10 others drowned, adding that the rescued passengers gave an account of Bimbo’s action before the tragedy struck.
He said Bimbo was trailed and arrested, adding that he would be charged.
Odumosu stated, “On July 29, 2020, around 5.45pm, our marine operatives received a distress call that a commercial boat with the inscription: ‘Mount Zion Transport’, fitted with 150HP Yamaha outboard engine, which was conveying 20 passengers from Kirikiri to Badagry, drifted towards a stationary barge and capsized along the Kirikiri waterfront.
“Five passengers were rescued, while 12 corpses were recovered. Three people are still missing. The helmsman, Bimbo Elebiju, swam to safety. Investigation revealed that the accident was caused by the deliberate act of the helmsman. There was an argument between the deckhand and the passengers as to the transport fare.
“Bimbo insisted on N1,500 per passenger and the passengers said they would only pay N1,200 each. Because of the N300 difference, the helmsman turned off the engine on a turbulent waterfront. A big ship passed and stirred the water, creating a wave that made the boat to drift towards the stationary barge. The suspect was trailed to his hideout and arrested after the survivors of the accident gave the true account of what happened. He will be charged.”
In another development, a self-acclaimed traditional ruler, Lateef Olarinde, 72, and four suspected hoodlums have been arrested for allegedly causing mayhem in the Satellite Town area of the state, which led to the death of some residents.
The other suspects were identified as Yusuf Olarinde, 38; Sanni Olarinde, 37; Ayomide Lateef, 29; and Kazeem Sadiku, aka Alawori, 35.
Odumosu said, “The principal suspect, who claimed to be the ruler of the Oguntedo community, had been mobilising armed men to unleash terror on indigenes of Ashaogun community over a period of time. The attacks usually come with sporadic gunfire and killing of innocent persons.
“After the attacks, the suspects usually go into hiding. On March 18, 2020, and July 18, 2020, the same set of people killed one person and injured several others. It was also revealed that the suspects had participated in a series of robbery operations in Satellite Town and its environs.
“The DPO, Satellite Town Police Station, Chike Oti, ensured the capture of the criminal dynasty of the self-acclaimed traditional ruler of Oguntedo community. Investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be arraigned as soon as investigation is concluded.”
Also paraded were members of kidnap syndicates, including Ayeni John, 45; Tijani Gafari, 38; Ojonla Oyetakin, 30; and Paul Orimisan, 38, who were alleged to be terrorising and kidnapping Lagos residents plying the waterways.
The suspects were said to have kidnapped a Syrian along the Eko Atlantic waterway in Lagos.
Odumosu also paraded nine suspected traffic robbers, Ismail Tosin, 23; Lukman Nojeem, 18; Segun Ade, 20; Rafiu Jamiu, 29; Lateef Yusuf, 28; Mabinuola Wale, 20; Taiwo Hazan, 19; Adeleke Oluwasegun, 17; and Adeniji Saliu, 18; three robbery suspects, Dare Hassan, 35; Ajanaku Azeez, 35; and Clarkson Oritshejubemi, 36.
One Emeka Okun, 28, was apprehended for allegedly stealing batteries from telecommunication companies, and suspected illegal arms dealers, Shapraku Umade, 19; Moses Anzuur, 19; and James Tsebee, 20.
While Ojewole Saburi, 26; and Olawale Samson, 28, were nabbed for unlawfully possessing firearms, a fake soldier, Yemi Ayeni, 32, was charged for assaulting a policewoman, Inspector Martina Onyeacho, in a footage that went viral recently.
In the last one month, Odumosu said the command had arrested 27 suspected armed robbers and 15 traffic robbers, and successfully foiled 22 traffic robbery attempts, adding that two robbery suspects died during exchange of gunfire with the police.
“Four suspects were arrested for kidnapping; 19 were arrested for murder and the command prevented seven suicide attempts,” he added.