A 24-year old driver, Abass Ope, accused of stealing his boss’ car, TVs and a pet dog, has confessed that Christmas needs of his siblings pushed him into committing the crime.
The suspect who is from Ogun State was arrested at Ojuelegba area of Lagos by the Decoy Team of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the State Police Command, on last year Boxing Day.
He was picked up by the Police while trying to sell off his ex-boss’s Toyota Avensis 2013 model with the registration number AGL 734 AR for N2 million. Arrested along with him were three of his friends: Balogun Oluwaseun (23); Sanni Azeez (23) and Stephen Ewiele (22).
During Christmas period, Abass had stormed his boss Magodo home while he and his family were holidaying in Delta State, with a conspirator to move a 100 inches LCD TV, another 42 inches LCD TV, a dog, a suitcase, 2 DSTV decoders and a Toyota Avensis, from the home.
It was gathered that the suspect invaded the home of his ex-boss after learning that he had travelled to Delta State for the Christmas holiday, and that the gatekeeper had also gone to church. A source said that the suspect was aware of the exact location his boss usually kept keys to his rooms which made it easy for him to carry out the crime.
It was revealed that his ex-boss, on getting report of missing vehicle and property called the suspect on more than two cases to inform him of the development but he denied knowledge of the incidence.
The boss had to cut short his holiday in Delta with his family to report the incident at Magodo Police Station.
The source added that he was shocked when an official of the RRS called him to notify him of his recovered vehicle because, he never reported the theft in RRS office.
According to Abass;
“I took the car because I had no money to take care of myself and younger ones. They had no clothes, no shoes and this is Yuletide season. They looked up to me to take care of these expenses…. It was about three months now that I left Mr. Ekinodo (his former boss). I had worked for him for four years before leaving him on August, 2016. I left because he had a little challenge and things were pretty tough for him. I left so that he could have himself sorted out.”
“He was a very nice boss to work with. He enrolled me into University but I couldn’t continue the education when I left him. While he had this challenge, he owed me 8 month salary; this prompted me to take his property and the vehicle.’
“The auto dealer wanted to pay N2 million for the car but I insisted he pays N4 Million because I know it is worth more than that.… He offered me N1million instantly and that the balance would be ready in about few minutes time, but I decided to ignore the offer hoping that the dealer would call me back for a re-negotiation…. I went back to Ojuelegba few hours later in company of three of my friends that was when RRS operatives arrested us.”
According to Ekinodo Ifoghale,
“I am in shock. This is a guy I treated like a son. Apart from my wife, he was the closest person to me. This is a guy that did my shopping for me. Even, before I buy anything for myself, I bought for him first”.
“How can I owe him 8 months’ salary when he never worked for me in those periods? Did he inform me that I owed him? He was never in my house in the periods he claimed.… I called him more than twice when I got the report of the break in. He told me he knew nothing about it. If he had told me he needed money, I would have given him because we were still very close despite the fact that he was no longer working for me,” he added.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Superintendent of Police, SP Dolapo Badmos, advised members of the public to always do a background check of their domestic servants so as not to expose themselves to criminals.
The suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID)Yaba, for further investigation.