Why we Burgled Micro-Finance Bank, Law Chamber; Arrested Burglar Recounts.

A 33 year old man, Yusuf Adebayo has been arrested by the Police and charged to court for allegedly invading and stealing from the Law Chambers of Justice O.J. Bamgbose in Ibadan. He was accused at the Chief Magistrate Court 4 Holden at Iyaganku Ibadan on 5- count charge.

The charge said Yusuf Adebayo and others now at large on the 18th of August 2018 and 20th of August 2018 at about 12.00 a.m. at Justice O.J. Bamgbose & Co. Chambers, Yohannes building, opposite Methodist Church, Bodija in Ibadan Magisterial District did conspire together to commit felony, to wit; burglary and stealing thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 516 of the criminal code cap 38, Vol II laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.

The second charge stated that Yusuf Adebayo and others now at large on the same date time and place at the aforementioned Magisterial District burgled the chambers of Justice O.J. Bamgbose & Co. legal practitioners with intent to steal and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 414 of the criminal code cap 38 vol. II laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.

He was also charged for maliciously damaging the front and officers roof of the building with intent to steal on the same date, time and place and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 451 of the criminal code cap 38 Vol II laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.

The fourth count charge stated that Yusuf Adebayo and others now at large on the same date time and place and at the aforementioned Magisterial District did break into the office building of O.J. Bamgbose & Co. legal practitioners Chamber with the intent to steal, the offense being punishable under section 413(1) of the criminal code cap 38, vol II laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.

Count 5 stated that Yusuf Adebayo at the same date, time and place did steal 30 no.copies of Digest of Judgment of Supreme Court of Nigeria (DJSCN) valued at N900,000 (US$ 2,465.75), 9no. copies of the family Law Report Author’s copy valued N100,000 (US$ 273.97), 5no. office wall decoration frames valued at N25,000 (US$ 68.49), a new unused Thermocool brand Refrigerator valued at N45,000, a lawyer’s Gown valued N800,000 (US$ 2,191.78), biscuits, beverages, soft drinks, 3no. wines valued N30,000 and a cash sum of N20,000 property of Justice O.J. Bamgbose & Co. Legal practitioner and punishable under section 390 of the criminal code cap 38, Vol Il Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.

The defendant pleaded not guilty of all the count charges. The Prosecuting officer, Sergeant Kola Olaiya told the Court that the case was reported to the Bodija housing Estate Police Station on 20th of August, 2018 by Emmanuel Ojomah a legal practitioner. Sgt. Kola Olaiya further told the court that the complainant – Barrister Emmanuel Ojomah voluntarily gave his statement at the police station.

The statement revealed that on the 18th of August, 2018 at about 12.58am when he got the to the office, he discovered that the frontage ceiling of the office has been vandalized by thieves and when he entered the office he found that one HP Laptop on the table was missing and other offices tables’ drawers were searched but nothing else was removed. The statement further revealed that the lawyer informed his principal; Honourable Justice O.J. Bamgbose who directed him to report the matter to the police.

The complainant’s statement also exposed that there was no security guard at the office and that after the burglary and stealing he did not suspect anybody at all. But on the 20th of August, 2018 the same office was burgled again by thieves through the same vandalized ceiling by which they gained entrance the previous day and this new time they stole 3no. bottled wines and drinks, one refrigerator, one lawyer’s gown, 28no. copies of Laws of Supreme Court and 9no. Family Law books written by Justice O.J. Bamgbose and each copy of these books is valued at N30,000 but other stolen items were yet to be ascertained.

The Prosecuting officer further told the court that after thorough investigation by the policemen, the complainant later realized that some office decorative frames had been stolen too and Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle that allegedly used to buy stolen goods from Yusuf Adebayo was arrested too.

In his statement to the police and reported to the court, Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle of Akilo street Bariga, Lagos State allegedly stated that that since he finished his secondary education in 2001, he has been selling Lawyers’ materials at Lagos State High court premises, Igbosere, Lagos.

He told the court that he knew Mr. Yusuf Adebayo since 2004 at Igbosere Lagos State Nigeria High court premises. But on August 18th, 2018 he missed Mr. Yusuf Adebayo voice call hence he called him back and he replied by sending a text message that list of some law books he has to sell. Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle told the police in their report to court that he did not have money to buy the books hence he called other books sellers if they are interested and Mr. Fatai Oyewole replied that he was interested so far the books are not pirated.

The Police further revealed to court that Mr. Fatai Oyewole asked Tajudeen Adekunle to snap the book to confirm its authenticity. After the confirmation, they all met at Mr. Oyewole’s house and negotiated on the books and concluded at a price of N15,000 per copy and Oyewole paid for 5 copies at N75,000. Mr. Fatai Oyewole sent a first installment of N30,000 to Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle’s account which Adekunle transferred to Mr. Yusuf Adebayo’s account and he balanced him with N45,000 when Adebayo took the book to him at Lagos on the 19th of August, 2018. Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle had further told the Police that on same day Adebayo left Lagos back to Ibadan.

On Monday 20th of August, 2018, Mr. Yusuf Adebayo called Tajudeen Adekunle around 6.00 a.m. to inform him that he has sent more copies of the same book and his account Number to him through commercial bus driver.

The total books Yusuf Adebayo allegedly sent were 29 copies of Digest of Judgement of Supreme Court volumes 1-8 but Mr. Adekunle gave Mr. Oyewole 21 copies and kept 8 copies in his custody. Mr. Oyewole transferred N150,000 (US$410.95) to Mr. Adekunle who added N90,000 (US$ 246.57) and sent the total to Mr. Yusuf Adebayo’s Bank Account and Adekunle promised to pay the balance when he comes back from Abuja. Adekunle travelled to Abuja for MBA Conference but on Wednesday 28 of August, 2018 when he came back from Abuja, he found Mr. Oyewole with two policemen looking for him. They told him that the books sold to him by Mr. Yusuf Adebayo were stolen books from Justice O.J. Bamgbose’s chambers and he was thus arrested.

Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle confirmed that he bought books from Mr. Yusuf Adebayo but he was not at the scene of burglary.

In the dock, the accused person Mr. Yusuf Adebayo started to recount his past as he told the court that he hat he attended his primary school education at Oke-Ado, Ibadan between 1990-1996. Immediately he finished his primary school education, he left Ibadan to Lagos where he started learning painting work from one Mr. Segun Odunsi. He added that he left painting work to stay with his biological brother Mr. Yemi Yusuf; a Bailiff at Igbosere Magistrate Court in Lagos, Nigeria where he worked as a parker. He added that sometimes in 2016 he had dispute with his brother whom he stayed with and relocated back to Ibadan. He continued with his previous painting work under his uncle Muniru Arasi at Oke-Ado area of Ibadan. He further recounted doing his painting work with stealing activities.

He also revealed that sometimes in August 2017, he and one of his friends called Kazeem burgled a shop at Mokola area, Ibadan where they stole new and used phones, unfortunately for them one of the phones was tracked and the person they sold it to was arrested and they were tracked too and arrested. He said both himself and Kazeem were charged to Magistrate court 5, Iyaganku Ibadan. He said they were remanded at Agodi prison, Ibadan for one month. And that he was bailed out when they agreed with the complaint that they will be paying the sum of N200,000 (US$547.94) the debt burden of which led them to burgle a Micro finance bank, along Lalupon – Iyanna Church area in December 2017 in order to recoup money to relief their financial repayment burden. In the mid-night, he burgled the Micro-finance Bank and stole 8 UPS, Clothes, Solars, Water dispenser and some other things. Yet he was unable to open the door at night when he was looking for money. Despirate for money, he said he went to the same Bank at about 7.00 a.m. the following day with hammer and saw-blade with the aim of breaking the door and he was arrested again and taken to Iyana-Offa Police Station from where he was charged to Court at Ejioku Magistrate Court Ibadan.

He revealed that he was remanded at Agodi prison for months. Later his family came to bail him from the prison yard and that on the day of his arrest on current charges, he was to face his adjourned case at Ejioku Magistrate Court.

On the 18th of August, 2018 at about 10.00 pm Mr. Yusuf Adebayo and one Kazeem pretentiously stayed at a nearby night club, at old Bodija, Ibadan, till midnight from where they left for Justice Bamgbose’s Law Chambers at Bodija Ibadan. They used a table meant for selling engine oil near the office for their operation.

He told the court that Kazeem used the table to climb the ceiling while he was spying around. Kazeem eventually gained access into the office through the ceiling and opened the door for him. They both entered the office, searched for money and took 5 copies of books of Digest Judgment of the Supreme Court Law written by Honourable Justice O.J. Bamigbose and a HP Laptop computer system. They headed to an Indian Hemp joint at Oke-Adu area of Ibadan with the law books and the stolen Laptop. He stated further that he later called Mr. Tajudeen that he had some books for sale which Mr. Tajudeen requested him to text him the names of the book and their Authors.

About 5 minutes later, Mr. Tajudeen Adekunle called him and told him that he got a buyer for the books. Immediately, he headed to Lagos to meet with the buyer. His partner Kazeem stayed in Ibadan while he met with Tajudeen. Mr. Tajudeen took him to Mr. Fatai Olanrewaju Oyewole house where they all agreed on N15,000 (US$41.09)per book. He was given N30,000 (US$ 82.19) and later the N45,000 (US$123.28) balance was transferred to him via his bank account. Thereafter, Olanrewaju Oyewole told him to bring more copies of the book if it is available and he – Yusuf Adebayo called his partner in crime- Kazeem and told him that they are rich. He also alleged that Tajudeen Adekunle collected N10,000 (US$ 27.39) as a commission for connecting Yusuf with Fatai Oyewole.

He also told the court that Yusuf deducted N10,000 (US$27.39) transport money to and from Lagos. He confirmed earlier statement revealed by the police but added that they stopped a taxi who took them to Obalende park. Yusuf Adebayo said he sent all the books through a commercial bus driver from Ibadan to Lagos. Yusuf said he shared other stolen items with Kazeem. Tajudeen Adekunle’s phone number was given to the driver. Immediately the driver delivered all books to him, the sum of N140,000 (US$ 383.56) was paid into his Bank Account. Yusuf and Kazeem shared the money and they are waiting for the balance. Later in the day, Mr. Tajudeen transferred the balance into his account.  

Yusuf narrated that he doesn’t use gun but he is a specialist when it comes to burglary and stealing. He said he learnt burglary and stealing from one Mr. Kamali who has been killed in an operation by the police in Lagos. Yusuf confessed that he sold the HP Laptop with the Laptop charger to a man at Sabo area of Mokola Ibadan at the rate of N10,000 (US$ 27.39) while Kazeem took away the stolen refrigerator to his house, they shared the wines and threw away the lawyer’s gown and wig but all the decorative frames was taken by Kazeem.

Yusuf Adebayo agreed to lead police to where Kazeem can be found at Onipasan area, Agodi gate, Ibadan. He alleged that Kazeem is his gang leader and had the lion share of the stolen items. Yusuf Adebayo presently lives at St. Mary Area, Agugu, Ibadan not far off from Kazeem.

The counsel to the defendant applied for his client’s bail because all the charges against the defendant are bail-able offences which the Prosecutor and the counsel from the O.J. Bamgbose’s Law Chamber did not oppose.

Chief Magistrate Muideen Salami granted the accused a bail in the sum of N200,000 (US$547.94)  with 2 sureties who should be gainfully employed. One of the sureties must be a direct relative to the defendant and another must be a Civil Servant of not less than salary Grade level 14 and all the sureties must be thoroughly verified. The Chief Magistrate adjourned the case to 15th February, 2019 for trial.

By Ademola Oladele

PublicTimes http://publictimes.com.ng ISSN 2250-9259

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