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Remanded In Prison Twice For Stealing, Man Arrested Again For Same Offence

By Adeshina Precious 

A 27-year-old man, Asimiyu Biodun, is not a stranger to Abolongo Correctional Centre in Oyo State. He had been remanded in the correctional facility two times when he could not fulfil bail conditions after being charged to court at different times but on the same offence of alleged stealing of cables from a company in Ibadan, Oyo State, where he was a machine operator.

But it seems as if Biodun had yet to learn his lessons as he was again arrested by the Security Surveillance Team of Oluyole Local Government Area of the state last Saturday for allegedly stealing two cylinders from a panel beater’s shop at Academy area, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The commandant of the surveillance team, Olusegun Idowu, who spoke with Sunday Tribune, said that the suspect’s deed was uncovered when his team was on the search for another suspected thief.

According to the commandant, “through intelligence gathering, we discovered a place at Odo Ona Kekere where suspects used to take stolen items to scrap material buyers. It was one of the scrap buyers who pointed at Biodun, saying that he was one of the sellers. It was during questioning that he confessed to being a prison inmate and his latest theft of cylinders.”

In an interview with Sunday Tribune, Biodun, an Ibadan indigene who lives in Aba-Nla, narrated how he started stealing.

He said: “I attended secondary school but couldn’t proceed further. I first learnt how to drive trucks but stopped when we had a terrible accident. I started working in a company in the Alomaja area where detergents are produced. I was working as a machine operator. I’ve spent about three years there.

“It was at the company that I started doing ‘runs.’ I was cutting cables in the premises and selling them to make extra money aside from the salary I was being paid. The cables were so many that my acts were not detected for long. The cables were actually wastes but the foreigners preferred them to remain so without being sold or touched.

“I used to cut the cables whenever I was on night duty when our bosses who are foreigners would have gone home. The security man working there was an accomplice who would be on the watch out for any staff who might find out what I was doing. The factory had Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras but what I used to do was to dodge the cameras and drag the cables away from them.

“I was selling the stolen cables to scrap buyers at a store in the Odo Ona Kekere area before I was caught. I made between N15,000 and N30,000.”

How I was first caught

“One day, early in the morning, as usual, I loaded the cables on my motorcycle to take them to the man I was selling them to. Unfortunately, one of our bosses, who is also a foreigner, saw me. He reported me to my immediate boss who is like my brother and was the one who got me the job. The brother called me aside and I confessed to him. The man I sold them to was also summoned and he made them know that I had been coming to sell to him and that he didn’t know that I was stealing the cables.

“I was sacked immediately and handed over to the police. I was arraigned in court and granted bail, but when I couldn’t fulfil the conditions of N50,000 and a surety, I was remanded in Abolongo prison. My salary for that month and my yearly entitlement which was due were forfeited.

“After six months, my half-brother paid for the bail and I was released from prison. By then, the foreigner who caught me had left the company, and his bosses had forgotten about the incident, so the brother who initially got me the job re-employed me. The security man who was my accomplice had also been sacked as I was told that he was also caught stealing the cables.

“I started doing the ‘runs’ but was careful not to steal the cables inside the company, as I had been warned by the brother. I started stealing the company cables outside the premises. However, I was not caught while doing that. It was that brother who got me employed that stole some also and asked me to help him take them out. He was paid N25,000 and gave me N7,000 out of it.

“Unfortunately, the foreigners detected that the cables were no longer where they were placed and asked us. That brother and I confessed and were handed over to the police. We were both charged to court but he was able to fulfil bail conditions. I was remanded again in Abolongo prison but was granted amnesty in early January.”

How I fell into trouble again

“I went to a friend’s child naming ceremony in the Ayegun area. As I was going, I noticed two cylinders used by panel beaters beside a park. I spoke to a driver; told him I was so broke and needed his help to pick up the cylinders.

“Early in the morning on January 31, the driver and I put the cylinders in the vehicle and went to sell them to the same person I had been dealing with. He bought them for N13,000.”

How I was arrested

“I went to Odo Ona Kekere to buy something when the buyer saw and called me. He and others descended on me, beating me. He said that what I sold to him had landed him in trouble and that he had to pay a lot of money to get out of it. That was how the vigilante group personnel who were there apprehended me.”

Pleading for leniency, the suspect promised not to do such again, adding that his wife-to-be was already pregnant for him.

Mr  Olusegun said that the suspect would be handed over to the police for further interrogation.

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