Abass Ope and his loot
The 24-year-old suspect, Abass Ope, who worked as a driver for his boss, Mr. Ekinodo Ifoghale, until August last year, said he needed money to celebrate Christmas.
On Christmas day, he stormed his former boss’ abode in the company of an accomplice, while the ex-boss was in his home town in Delta State with members of his family. They were alleged to have moved a 2013 model Toyota Avensis car, a 100-inch LCD television, another 42-inch LCD television, two DSTV decoders, a dog and a suitcase containing the family’s personal effects.
Vanguard gathered that the following day, Ope was bargaining with the owner of a car mart in Ojuelegba area of the state, to sell the N7 million car for N2 million, when a decoy team from the RRS swooped on him. Arrested alongside Ope were three other persons identified as Balogun Oluwaseun, 23; Sanni Azeez, 23, and Stephen Ewiele, 22.
In an interview with the prime suspect, he claimed to have carried out the act because his boss was owing him. He added that he was further lured to steal the property with a view to use whatever was realised to provide money for his siblings to celebrate Christmas. According to Abass, “the auto dealer I took the car to wanted to pay N2 million for it. But I insisted on N4 million because I knew it was worth more than that. He offered me N1 million cash instantly, with a promise that the balance would be ready some hours later. “I left without collecting the money from him, with the hope that he would call me back for re-negotiation. But when he did not call me, I went back to Ojuelegba in the company of three of my friends to meet with the dealer, only to be arrested.
“My former boss was very nice to me while I was working with him. He enrolled me into the university, but I couldn’t continue when I left him.”
I treated him well—Victim
Owner of the stolen vehicle, Ekinodo Ifoghale, said: “I am in shock. This was a young man I treated like a son. Apart from my wife, he was the closest person to me. This was someone who did my shopping and every other thing. Even before I buy anything for myself, I bought for him first.”
Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmus, who confirmed the arrest, advised members of the public to always do a background check on domestic workers before employing them. She added that the suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID Yaba, for further investigation.