Otedola: Onovo Says Lift Failure was Murder Attempt


From Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja, 08.27.2010 

Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo has described as sabotage and attempted murder the incident involving Chairman of African Petroleum Plc, Mr. Femi Otedola, his four security details and two directors of the oil company in which they were trapped in a lift at the AP Plaza in Lagos on July 5, 2010.


The two men in charge of the lifts supplied by Otis lifts Limited, Celestine Ononobi and Moses Oluremi, have been arrested in connection with the incident and were helping the police in their investigations.


While addressing a cross section of the media on how far the police has gone in the investigation, Onovo, represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG in charge on Criminal Investigation Department, SCI, Mr. John Ahmadu, yesterday stated that elevator experts who inspected the lifts discovered that the safety switch was pressed down leading to the halting of the facility and trapping of the AP chairman and other directors for about two hours.


The seven men were to attend an emergency meeting of the board of AP Plc where crucial decisions affecting the company were to be taken on the fateful day when they were trapped in the lift and were subsequently rescued.


THISDAY checks revealed that some key officers of the oil company were to be punished for offences that had to do with mismanagement of company funds. Although they were informed of their various punishments, they insisted that only the board can take the decision that would sweep off their feet from the company.


As early as 10 am on the 5th of July, 2010, Otedole and other key officials of AP Plc were already in the company premises prepared for the board meeting that was scheduled to take place by 11 am.Despite the lift incident, the board meeting still took place and one top official of the company was suspended, while two other key officers were sacked.


The case was previously handled by the Lagos State Police Command, where their findings were seriously faulted before the IGP directed that it should be taken over by the Force CID for diligent investigation.The Police boss said the three elevator engineers that submitted the report that it was tampered with, revealed that the lift installed 2009 was powered by a 625kva generator at the time of the incident and should not have had any problem.


The IGP said: “The technical experts who examined the lifts after the incident found out that the lift was tampered with because the safety switch was pressed down. The moment they depressed the switch, the lift started working again perfectly, indicating that the incident was an act of sabotage and an attempt to murder the occupants.“We call on members of the public to assist the police with useful information that will enable us to unravel the crime.”






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