Office Assistant Docked Over N1m Goods

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The police at Yaba Police Division, Adekunle, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, have arrested and arraigned an office assistant, Oto Obong Okon Ben, 22, before the Yaba Magistrate’s Court for allegedly stealing her employer’s property valued at 1,048,300.

Also arraigned with him was the alleged receiver of the stolen goods, Emmanuel Udo Utibe, 40, knowing that the goods were stolen.

The police alleged in the charge sheet that the accused, between June and September this year, at 21, Hughes Avenue, Alagomeji, Yaba, stole one bridal chair valued at N30,000; 65 pieces of serving plates valued N812,500; 35 pieces of plastic chairs valued at N36,400; 60 pieces of napkins valued at N16,000 and different types of flower vases valued at N135,000, all totalling N1,048,300, property of his employer, Animashaun Kikelomo.

His accomplice, Emmanuel, was accused of receiving stolen goods and keeping them in his house at 5, Gbadamosi Iginla Street, Mushin, Lagos, knowing same to have been stolen.

During interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime of stealing the property on a Sunday when nobody came to the office. He led the police to where he kept the items, some of which were recovered while the receiver was arrested.

In his confessional statement, Ben said: “I stole the property out of greed to transfer them to my village in Ikwa Ibom State to start my event centre business. I chattered a vehicle to the office on a Sunday to steal the items when nobody came to the office. I beg my employer to forgive me because she trusted me and has been so nice to me.”

After investigation, the accused were charged to court for stealing, the offences according to the prosecutor, Philip Ugbodu, are punishable under Section 390(6) and 427 of the Criminal Code, Cap C17, laws of Lagos State, 2003.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and the presiding magistrate, Aka Bashorun, granted them bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The magistrate directed that one of the sureties must be on Level 14, in the civil service, while the other must be a blood relation.

He adjourned the matter till 13 October 2011.

The accused had been remanded at Ikoyi Prison pending when they meet their bail conditions.

—Paul Iyoghojie