The lorries with registration numbers AA 554 DDA, AA 271 KRE, XA 681 SGM and AA480 SEL and one without a number plate were caught loaded with logs illegally felled at Temidire village, J1 forest reserve, Ijebu Igbo and were already moving out to Osun State before they were apprehended.
Speaking on the incident, the Commissioner for Forestry, Ayo Olubori who led the team stated that following a tip off, members of the Quick Response Squad set out Saturday night to search the bush, adding that the search yielded results yesterday morning as the team caught the five men who were later discovered to be operating from Osun State in collaboration with some J1 timber contractors.
Mr Olubori explained that on sighting the patrol van, some of them took to their heels, adding that the search party would continue to trail them.
He affirmed that his Ministry would not relent in the campaign against illegal tree felling, warning wood merchants who might want to be taking advantage of the border towns with the State to ravage its forest reserves to desist forthwith or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
“Let me say for the umpteenth time that on our part, we are resolute, will not fold our hands and watch any individual or group cart away our common wealth. This Government needs money to execute its laudable programmes and this might not be achieved if these people are not stopped in their tracks, we will not relent in chasing them,” Mr Olubori affirmed.
All the five individuals and the lorries caught have been taken to the Ijebu Igbo Police Division for necessary actions which will include onward transfer to the Ministry’s headquarters in Abeokuta.
It will be recalled that about a month ago, the Commissioner in company of the State Task Force on illegal tree felling arrested 50 lorries in Ijebu Igbo discovered to have been loaded with illegally felled trees.