Police Arrest Church Thief


By Paul Iyoghojie

A 31-year old James Irouka has been arrested by officers at Yaba Police Station, Adekunle, Lagos, for allegedly stealing N27,000 and a Nokia phone belonging to one Esther Mesagan inside the Assembly of God Church in the area.

The police alleged that James went to the church to steal.

P.M.NEWS gathered that as the congregation were deeply in prayer, the suspect started searching female hand bags, but he was sighted by a female church member who was attending to her crying baby.

She raised an alarm which attracted other members.

The thief was said to have quickly run out of the church and escaped, but nemesis caught up with him two days later, when he was arrested by the police at a hideout following a tip off from members of the public.

When he was searched, the stolen Nokia phone was found on him.

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In his confessional statement to the police, James said: “I visit different churches every Sunday and I make sure I steal things like money, handset, good sandals or shoes before leaving. I have been doing it for long and it has become part of me.

“I used the N27,000 to sleep with prostitutes at Makoko. I pray to God to forgive me.”

He was later arraigned before the Sabo Magistrate’s Court on a two-count charge to commit felony and stealing, offences punishable under section 516(a)(1), 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap. C17, Vol. II, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria.

Count two reads that you, James Irouka, on 5, December, 2010, at about 0100 hours at 2, Apollo Street, Makoko, Yaba, Lagos, in the Lagos magisterial district, did steal the sum of N27,000 and one Nokia phone valued at N34,000 from one Esther Mesagan.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge and the presiding magistrate, Mr. O.S Aka Bashorun, granted him bail in the sum of N20,000 with one surety in the like sum and adjourned the matter till13 January, 2011.

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