8th September, 2011
Operatives at the State CID, Panti Street, Adekunle, Yaba, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, have arraigned five suspected car thieves before the Yaba Magistrates’ Court on a six-count charge of felony, to wit, stealing.
The accused, Idowu Obayewu Babatunde, a.k.a. Johnson Balogun, 28, Abubakar Yakubu, 37, Akinloye Samuel, 34, Adams Safifu, 32 and Azeez Adewumi, 34, according to the police, conspired to steal a Nissan Xterra SUV with registration number CF 927 KSF belonging to Funsho Owoyemi & Co.
The incident occurred on 4 August, 2011 at 27A, Jones Street, Ebute Meta, Lagos when the first accused, Idowu Abayewu Babatunde was employed as a driver by Samuel Ayodele Babatunde and disappeared with the SUV same day he was employed.
The owner contacted a vehicle tracking company and the vehicle was tracked to Olodi Apapa, Lagos.
He reported the matter to the police and four of the suspects were arrested at the scene removing parts of the vehicle.
The fifth accused, Azeez Adewumi, who allegedly produced the duplicated ignition key for the stolen vehicle was arrested at a hideout a few days later.
During interrogation, Idowu told the police that they usually send one member of their gang to apply for a job as a driver with a company or somebody who owns an expensive Toyota and Nissan SUV.
â€œOur member will apply for the job with fake name, address and phone numbers.
â€œThe same day he is employed, he will drive the vehicle to our base at Olodi Apapa where the car parts will be changed. We will then resell the it and share the proceeds. We have been in the business for long,â€ Idowu confessed.
The offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 516a, 390(9) 4(c), 427 and 7C of the Criminal Code, Cap. C17, Vol. 11, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.