By Jonathan Ugbal
The 32 seater Toyota Coaster bus of the Okuku Campus of the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) stolen in July 2017 has been returned to the institution by the Okpoma division of the Nigeria Police Force.
The culprits had sprayed the vehicle a different color and inscribed “Temple Mass Transit Nigeria Limited” on the bus which as at press time was still unclear to CrossRiverWatch when it was found.
The inscription on the body of the vehicle was “Cross River University Of Technology Okuku Campus,” and it was returned to the Varsity’s management Friday in Okpoma, Yala local government area of northern Cross River State.
The bus was discovered by a Policeman on patrol who suspected foul pay after perceiving a new paint coating when it was apprehended en route to Awka in Anambra state from Benue state.
The driver is said to have chosen the Benue – Abuochiche – Igoli – Okuku – Okpoma – Ukelle – Abakaliki – Awka route after a trailer had fallen and blocked the original route.
The Policeman asked for the particulars of the vehicle at about 3:00AM in the morning and when he noticed the discrepancies, called the DPO who asked him to allow the vehicle but disobeyed the order and arrested the vehicle.
The driver was then asked to go bring the original papers of the vehicle and the owner of the company which did not happen for a long time.
The Police then decided to remove the batteries for safekeeping and saw “CRUTECH” inscribed on it with the initial inscription on the body of the vehicle becoming visible to their trained eyes as each day passed by a management official told this reporter.
When the owner of the company arrived the Okpoma division, he denied ownership of the bus and claimed it was not the one he had issued to the driver and was let go while the driver was locked up by the police.
CRUTECH management were then asked to bring forth their particulars for the stolen vehicle and when the Engine and Chassis numbers matched as well as the keys, the vehicle was then released to the institution.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered that the license plate of the vehicle which was “CROSS RIVER 06H 10 CH,” as earlier reported, had been replaced with one carrying Anambra state.
The Varsity’s management is yet to issue a statement on the matter but insider sources say the Dean of the campus which houses the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences had queried several staff and filed the query and their responses to the main campus in Calabar.