Dispute over Dog, Three Charged to Court.
One of the lucrative businesses in our society these days is Dog breeding especially breeding of foreign dogs like Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Bulldog, Beagle, Poodle, German Short haired Pointer, Boxer, Great Dane and Altisian amongst others. Some of these dogs serve many people as securities at home and offices. Others breed dogs to serve them as pet. Whether for money, security or domestic use, dog is a thing of joy to the breeder.
But to the quartet of Messrs Oluwafemi Williams, Ganiyu Yusuf, Sunday Chukwu and Onyebuchi Chukwu a Rottweiler dog has led them to appear before a Magistrate Court at Ibadan.
Three of the quartet – Ganiyu 31, Sunday – 35 and Onyebuchi, 30, were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court 4, Iyaganku Ibadan over alleged conspiracy to commit felony, to wit; stealing. They faced two counts charge.
The first count alleged that: Mr. Ganiyu Yusuf, Mr. Chukwu Sunday and Mr. Onyebuchi Chukwu on the 15th day of September 2017 at about 10.00am at Ojoo, Ibadan Magisterial District did conspire together to commit felony to wit stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 516 of the criminal code Cap 38 Volume 2 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.
The second charge alleged and stated that Mr. Ganiyu Yusuf, Mr. Sunday Chukwu and Mr. Onyebuchi Chukwu on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District did steal the following items: one Rottweiler dog valued at N1,200,000 (US$3,333.33), one International Passport, one HP Laptop valued N120,000 (US$333.3) and N140,000 (US$388.8) total valued N1,640,000.00 (US$4,555.5) property of Mr. Oluwafemi Williams and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 383 and punishable under Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Volume 2 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.
The three accused persons pleaded not guilty before the Chief Magistrate. One of the accused persons – Ganiyu told the court that after his secondary school education, he started working with a reputable Veterinary Animal Clinic. After 5 years working with the Clinic, he started dog breeding business till date. He added that the petition written against him by Mr. Williams that he attacked him at his house was not correct. He explained that in 2015, he met Mr. Williams with his (Ganiyu’s) boss Mr. Ayo Olamide and Mr. Williams approached him (Ganiyu) that he needed a dog but he told him that he did not have a dog but Williams kept calling him.
Mr. Yusuf further revealed that two months later, one of his friends named Sunday a.k.a Sunnytex told him to take one of his eight months old male Rottweiler dogs valued then at N100,000 (US$277.77) either for sale or to breed. Ganiyu told the court that he notified Williams who accepted the dog for breeding. Ganiyu said they started breeding the dog in Williams’ house.
He said he used to visit Williams house to give food to the dog. When the dog was a year and two months old, both started using the dog to mate female dogs. At each mating, Williams will collect N20,000 (US$55.5) mating-fee and a puppy after the female dog crossed by this dog gives birth, Ganiyu said. Ganiyu also told the Court that he has ensured eight puppies for Mr. Williams for which he has not collected any money or puppy from him, yet he also helped him to handle and coordinate activity on the dogs’ mating.
Ganiyu further alleged that Sunday came to him later and told him that the sire or male parent to the Rottweiler dog that he gave to Williams died and requested him (Ganiyu) to get him a replacement. Sunday then asked him if he has sold his dog and he told him that he did not sell it, Sunday requested to have his dog back, Ganiyu said.
He therefore took Sunday to Williams house along with Onyebuchi and introduced Sunday to William’s on the 15th of September, 2017 at about 10:am. during which he told Williams that they came for the dog. It was there that Sunday asked Williams if he (Ganiyu) sold the dog to him and Williams replied “No” and told Sunday that he (Ganiyu) gave him free, Ganiyu alleged.
Ganiyu proceeded to say that fortunately, he met that dog trying to mate with another female dog in Williams compound and there was no belt on the dog. Ganiyu said he carried the dog put a chain on it, overpowered Williams who tried to drag the dog from him and went away with the dog.
Ganiyu also said that on the following day Williams went to report him at police station Ojoo, Ibadan where he told them that there was no agreement between him and Williams when he gave Mr. Williams the dog. Ganiyu revealed that Mr. Sunday and his brother Onyebuchi did not join him while dragging the dog and that he did not know anything about Williams bag, Laptop, money and the International passport.
He agreed that it is not ideal for him to drag the dog from Williams and told the court that the dog was taken to the owner – Sunday and that they did not rob Mr. Williams or locked his gate against him.
On his side of the story, Mr. Williams told the court that in February 2014, Mr. Ganiyu gave him an eight-month old male Rottweiler dog without any agreement between them. All of a sudden, he allegedly noticed Ganiyu’s changed attitude when the dog ( named Nero) started mating after two years.
He told the court that Ganiyu once told him that the owner of the dog asked about the dog and he replied him that he does not know any other person attached to the dog beside Ganiyu. Williams continued that later Ganiyu brought a female dog to him for boarding because the owner of the female dog is not around and the dog stayed with him till it litter and they both shared the puppies despite their misunderstandings over previous puppies. Williams added that when Ganiyu brought another female dog for mating they settled their misunderstanding.
He alleged that he later discovered that Ganiyu’s main intention was to take away the dog (called Nero) from him. But in order to please Ganiyu, he gave him two puppies last year and normally invited him to make the dogs mate and for this he always gave him part of the mating fee.
Williams further alleged that on 15th day of September, 2017, Ganiyu came to his house in the morning with two other men to tell him that the owner of the dog was there to pick it. Both of them started dragging it but due to the help of the two men that came with him, the dog was taken away. He alleged that he was robbed of HP Laptop, money and international passport and they locked him inside his house and ran away with the dog.It was thereafter that he called on his neighbor to open the gate from outside and went to the police station at Ojoo to report the incident immediately.
Mr. Wisdom Obuh, men’s hair-cut stylist (Barber) and neighbor who lives directly opposite to Williams house testified in court that on the day of the incident, he was at the gate of Williams watching two dogs mating. Suddenly, three men came in with a car, they knocked Williams gate and he alerted Williams that he had visitors. Obuh further narrated that one of the three men said that he came for the dog and within a short time that they entered the house and started struggling with Williams and they took away the dog from him. They left the compound and one of them locked the gate from outside and they left. Williams begged him (Obuh) to open the gate from outside and he opened it.
The prosecutor Sergent Temitope Daudu urged the court to order Ganiyu to bring the said dog to the court so that dog will be in the police custody till the day a ruling would be made. She told the court that the way Ganiyu and his Counsel were talking suggested as if they have been justified that they are the true owner of the dog because the dog is still with them.
Chief Magistrate Salami pronounced that Mr. Ganiyu Yusuf should take back the dog from Mr. Sunday Chukwu and bring it to the Court so that the police will put the said dog into their custody and the case was adjourned to 28th June, 2018 for further hearing.