Kunle Falayi and Afeez Hanafi
A 34-year-old ‘corporate thief, Junior Agabo, has been arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Team, Lagos State Command, for allegedly stealing valuables belonging to one Prof. Paul Collier.
Collier is the Director of African Economies at Oxford University, London, United Kingdom.
The police said the suspect was arrested on Tuesday during the inauguration of Lagos-Ibadan Railway in Lagos by the Vice President, Prof.YemiOsinbajo.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the don had come for the 14th Annual Lecture of Centre for Values in Leadership held at Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos on February 6, 2017. The event was organised by Pat Utomi.
It was gathered that Collier, who was the keynote speaker at the event, could not find his bag, containing an Apple laptop, one iPhone 4s, three British passports, his identity cards, among others.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, in a press briefing at the command’s headquarters in Ikeja on Friday, said closed circuit televisions at the hall captured Agabo stealing the bag.
The CP, who said the items had been recovered, stated that the suspect had confessed to committing the crime in several public functions attended by governors and ministers.
Owoseni said the suspect disclosed that he mingled with entourage of political office holders to gain access into the venues.
The CP said, “Through the CCTV footage and cooperation of members of the public, the suspect behind the theft of Prof. Collier’s bag was recognised at another function – the opening of Lagos-Ibadan Railway Scheme that the acting President came for on Tuesday.
“The suspect claimed he was invited by one of the ministers. A good Nigerian who had seen that CCTV footage was able to identify him and informed the police. He initially denied the allegation. But when he was confronted with scientific proofs, he was unable to deny.
“Some of the items in the bag had been sold, but through diligent investigation, we were able to retrieve them from receivers. He has confessed to have done similar things at some public functions and he will be paraded after recovering items he stole from those functions.”
Meanwhile, in another case, a computer accessories trader, Ikemefuna Aje, who was paraded by the police on Friday, explained that he and his friend, Ekweremadu Joseph, decided that their specialty would be stealing laptop computers from seminar venues.
The suspect had about five high end computers laid before him as he answered questions from journalists.
They were recovered from those he sold them to after his last operation two weeks ago when he and Joseph struck at the venue of a seminar in Lagos.
Explaining how their operation works, Aje said, Joseph scouted for locations of seminars using all the sources he had built in different hotels where seminars are usually held in Lagos.
“When we got the location of a seminar, we went there dressed corporately as if we were participants. We registered at the registration point and got tags. When we got in, we gathered laptop computers that were left unattended and took them away,” he said.
The suspect refused to say how many of such seminar venues he had hit in Lagos.
He explained that he also worked with some scouts who told him where seminars were being held in the city.
“My wife has been crying since she heard what I did. I am ashamed of what I did,” he said.
The police have said the suspect would be charged to court very soon.
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