Police have confirmed that the owner of the truck that rammed into Gov. Adams Oshiomhole's convoy along Auchi-Warrake Road on April 28, Salisu Danjuma and the truck's driver, John Michael, are members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State.
This was one of the 18 findings contained in a report released by Police as they charged the duo of Danjuma and Michael before an Afuze, Edo State Magistrate Court with conspiracy and murder of three journalists in the convoy last Thursday. The killed journalists in Oshiomhole's convoy were George Okosun and Olatunji Jacob of Independent Television (ITV) and Fidelis Okhani of African Independent Television (AIT).
The police report stated that “the suspicion that this accident may have been the handiwork of political opponents of the Governor was thoroughly investigated and so far there is no evidence whatsoever to support such suspicion.”
It, however, stated that “in the absence of any conspiratorial evidence whatsoever, it may be illogical to assume that members of the Governor’s Party (ACN) arranged and executed the incident of 28/04/2012 involving the Governor and his entourage.”
According to the report, the Police quizzed three suspects, including Michael (driver), Agho Awen (the truck's conductor) and one Thomas Irivboye (who was suspected to have made implicating statements about the incident), adding that eight other persons who were invited and interrogated in the course of investigation volunteered useful statements.
Those other persons interrogated, include DSP Adekoye Ezekiel (Escort Commander of Governor Oshiomhole’s convoy), Danjuma (owner of Tipper Truck), Dr. Bruno Oshionebo (Chairman Transition Committee, Etsako West LGA), Olorunimbe Ozemoye (contractor to Etsako West LGA), Benedict Momoh (sub-contractor who engaged Tipper driver), Hon. Patrick Imokhai (Special Assistant on Security to Chairman, Transition Committee, Etsako West LGA), Cpl Isa Abdullahi (IPO from Auchi Division) and Mr. Vincent Osawaru (Vehicle Inspection Officer, Auchi).
The report quoted Danjuma as having admitted being a member of ACN and knowing Olorunimbe Ozemoya, Benedict Momoh and Michael (Truck driver) as members of ACN.
The Truck driver (Michael) was reported to have admitted that “on his way after he had taken one trip of laterite to the site along Warrake road, he suddenly sighted the headlights of vehicles on convoy coming towards him from opposite direction but there was no sound of siren.”
The report quoted him as having said that on sighting the convoy he became cautious and veered off the road to the right side to give way to the convoy, but as he tried to control the vehicle to the roadside, the steering suddenly hooked and he immediately applied the brakes but the brakes failed as a result of which he rammed into the convoy of vehicles which he later discovered was that of the governor of Edo State.
The report stated: “According to him, before he could realise what was happening he jammed two of the vehicles in the convoy – Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep with reg. No EDGH 274 and Toyota Hiace Bus with reg. No. AH 136 AFZ as a result of which three persons died.
“He also said that when the accident occurred, he managed to come out of the accidented vehicle but for the fear that he might be lynched by the Governor’s escort, he ran to Auchi Police Station and reported himself.