6th June, 2011
After several attempts to arrest people stealing valuables at the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, proved abortive, a breakthrough was recorded at the weekend when a middle-aged man was allegedly nabbed for stealing a fire extinguisher.
The alleged thief, Mr. Dele Adara, about 50 years old, was apprehended by civil servants.
He was caught removing one of the fire extinguishers at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The thief was led by a crowd to the Rapid Response Squad office at the secretariat.
The man carried a big bag in which he hid the stolen fire extinguisher. The alleged thief was said to have identified himself as security officer in a bid to gain access to the building where he eventually committed the theft.
A civil servant was quoted as saying that about six fire extinguishers had been stolen at the ministry in the last one year despite the level of security at the secretariat
â€œWhen he told us that he was the security man in charge of the fire extinguisher, we allowed him to enter the building. Eventually we caught him while he was trying to hide the extinguisher in a big bag.â€
According to the civil servant, who did not want to be named, he quickly raised an alarm, which led to the arrest of the alleged thief, adding that â€œhe would have been beating by the angry crowd but we rescued him from the angry staff.â€
The state government secretariat for too long had been the target of robbers and petty thieves who carry out all sorts of operation without being arrested. Despite attempts by government to curb this by beefing up security at the secretariat, thieves still reign unchallenged, even when the RRS office is located at the secretariat.
Last year alone several robbery incidents were recorded at the secretariat. Robbers last year stole N500,000 kept inside a vehicle.