Three Suspects Caught over NITEL / MTEL Cables Theft

Is it the poor state of the economy of the country that tempts many people to be desperate to acquire money by all means whether legitimate or illegitimate or is it the citizens are naturally greedy? Some people believe that the country has never done any good to them hence they decide to tamper with Government property to the extent of selling them to acquire wealth. Are some people out to avenge their ill- feelings against Nigerian Government or how do we justify the rising theft and vandalism of Government property?

Mr. Adeyemi Kabiru; 34 years, Mr. Akeem Iyiola; 44 years and Okongwu Arinze Mark; 28years were arraigned before Chief Magistrate court 1 at Iyaganku, Ibadan, Nigeria allegedly over stealing and felony to wit; defunct NITEL / MTEL Up – Rizers cable.

The suspects were accused on two-count charge: That Adeyemi Kabiru, Akeem Iyiola and Okongwu Arinze Mark on the 18th day of January, 2018 at about 11.15am at Ojubi Close, New Bodija area, Ibadan in Ibadan Magisterial district did conspire together to commit felony to wit; stealing of defunct NITEL/ MTEL Up-Rizers cable wire and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of the criminal code Cap 3 Vol. 2 Laws of Oyo State Nigeria.

The second charge stated that Adeyemi Kabiru, Akeem Iyiola and Okongwu Arinze Mark at the same date, time and place did steal some lengths of defunct NITEL / MTEL Up-Rizers cable wire lying on the erected defunct NITEL / MTEL poles situated at Ojubi Close, New Bodija, Ibadan property of A NATCOM Development and Investment Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 383 (1) 386 of criminal code and punishable under section 390 of criminal Code, Cap 38 volume 2 laws of Oyo State Nigeria 2000.

All the suspects pleaded not guilty and alleged that they have an authorized letter signed by one Mr. Segun Ayanleke, one of NITEL Staff. The prosecutor, Sergeant Adegboye Olusegun told the court that he has various documents, photographs and a witness – Professor Dupe Olatunbosun to prove that the suspects were not legally authorized to lay their hands on the Government property.

Professor Dupe Olatunbosun told the court that on the 18th of January 2018, at about 11:45 a.m. at Ojubi Close, New Bodija area Ibadan, he alleged that he saw Mr. Adeyemi Kabir, Akeem Iyiola and 2 police men – Sergeant Rauf Abisala and one other who did not disclose his identity came with pliers, believably with the intention of removing defunct NITEL/MTEL Cable wires from the pole.

He further revealed that these people were asked why and who gave them permission to remove the cable from the NITEL /MTEL pole and who ordered policemen to accompany them but they did not respond and he asked one of the people from the community to take their pictures for identification. The suspects later mentioned Mr. Segun Adeleke. Professor continued that he called Mr. Segun Ayanleke to confirm whether he authorized them to remove the cable but Mr. Segun Ayanleke denied it.

The Professor further told the court that he still called the Commissioner of Police to confirm whether he ordered his boys to accompany these people but the Commissioner replied; “NO”. In less than 20 minutes, by the order of the Commissioner of police, policemen from Bodija Police Station came to investigate what is going on but when the investigators got to the scene of the incident, the suspects were nowhere to be found.

The Professor told the court that the pictures earlier taken of the suspects were given to the policemen for further investigation and through these pictures Mr. Adeyemi Kabiru and Akeem Iyiola were caught and were to taken to the Bodija Police Station. After thorough interrogation at the police station the two accused confessed that it was Mr. Okongwu Arinze Mark – the third suspect that sent them to remove the cable and policemen took him too into their custody. Professor Olatunbosun still called Mr. Segun Ayanleke three times to confirm whether he was involved in the scenario but he denied involvement but it was allegedly discovered later that the letter they held to the scene of the incident was fake and not authentic of the alleged issuer.

Due to the failure of the prosecuting Police officer to bring one of the exhibits to the court, the Inspector; Adegboye Olusegun, was reluctant to apply for adjournment of the case. Nonetheless, Chief Magistrate N.A.J. Ogunbona (Mrs.) adjourned the case till the 18th of May 2018 for definite hearing and ordered the I.P.O. to bring forth all necessary exhibits to court.

All the suspects were granted bail of N400,000.00 (US$ 1,111.11) with one surety, each of whom should be gainfully employed.

By Ademola Oladele

PublicTimes ISSN 2250-9259

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