Embassy Guards Charged With Diesel Theft

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Policemen in Ikoyi Police Division, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, have arraigned two security guards before the Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on a three-count charge of stealing 300 litres of diesel valued at N43,000 belonging to the French Embassy.

Arraigned with them was the alleged receiver of the product, one Ochang Paul.

The police alleged in the charge sheet that the accused Ekiewa Douglas, 21, and Dauda Hamzat, 30, recruited by a private security firm and attached to the French Embassy on 6, Adeyemi Lawson Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, stole 300 litres of the product in about seven jerry cans.

Nemesis, however, caught up with them when, following a tip-off, the police arrested them before they could sell the diesel.

During interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime and named the supposed receiver, Ochang Paul, who they led the police to arrest.

In his statement, the alleged receiver confessed that the security guards called him on phone to come and buy diesel and he went there to deliver seven Jerry cans for them to fill with the diesel.

“The security men told me to come back in the night to collect the diesel from the depot after filling them, unknown to me that they stole the product.

“But before I could go back to collect the diesel, the security men brought policemen to arrest me.

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“I do not know how the security men got my phone number as I have never met them in my life,” he said.

When asked why he should buy the diesel from people he does not know, he said greed and the low price offered by the security guards tempted him to buy it. “I regret my action,” he stated.

After investigation, they were charged to court with felony to wit stealing.

The offences, according to the prosecutor, Sergeant Phillips Osijale, are punishable under Section 516, 390(9) and 427 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 32, vol. ii, laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and the presiding magistrate, Mrs. A. F. O. Abegunde Davies, granted them bail with one surety each in the sum of N50,000 who must provide evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State government.

She adjourned the matter till 21 October, 2011.

—Paul Iyoghojie