Ondo - The Ondo State Police Command has arrested eight workers of the Okitipupa Local Government Council for allegedly stealing a Toyota Hiace bus belonging to the council.
Confirming the arrest, the Divisional Police Officer at Ilutitun, Okitipupa in Ondo State, Mrs Regina Mogbojuri (DSP), said that those arrested had been released on bail.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that the suspects would be charged to court if they were unable to settle with the Okitipupa Council Management by Monday.
The Okitipupa Local Government Supervisor for Works, Mr Fioye Olamoju, said that some of the arrested workers include serving executive members of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
"We had informed the driver of our bus which was branded 'management bus' with registration ODLG 28 KTP before the closing on Friday about a wedding function at Ilutitun.
“But we waited in vain for the driver and bus on Saturday at the appointed time.
"He had also switched off his handset so there was no way to contact him; we finally got an alternative means to get to the wedding ceremony.
"When we arrived at the function, to our greatest surprise we spotted a bus that looked like the one expected but had been rebranded 'NULGE Bus' and now had registration NULGE 01 KTP,'' he said.
Olamoju explained that he attempted to collect the key from the driver when he was located but that the effort almost resulted to exchange of blows, ``so we reported the case at the Ilutitun Police Station''.
Also speaking to NAN, the Chairman of NULGE in Okitipupa, Mr Segun Olawumi, said there was no stealing intention in the matter.
He said that the union had some issues to iron out with the Okitipupa Local Government Chairman, including ``the issue of bus which the chairman refuses to buy for the union''.
He also alleged that the chairman refused to sign loan forms for workers and that he had out-sourced revenue generation to consultants.
Reacting to the allegations, the Chairman of the Council, Mr Wale Ogunmade, described the allegations as frivolous.