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20 Mar 2018

Olusosun dump fire: Six arrested for stealing N8m valuables

Six suspected hoodlums have been arrested by the police for allegedly looting a firm near Olusosun dump in Ojota, Lagos State, and stealing equipment worth N8m.

The suspects  were identified as Abu Muhammed, 18; Emmanuel George, 43; Abubakar Ibrahim, 28; Abubakar Abdullahi, 24; Bello Champion, 24 and 25-year-old Adeniyi Ifelowo.

They reportedly cashed in on the confusion that followed the fire incident at the dump to break into the company, Revive Technologies, and carted away a generator plant, weigh bridge machines, air conditioners, bulldozer parts, computers, truck parts, among others.

The dump had gone up in flames around 6pm last Wednesday.

The fire destroyed buses and some offices of the Lagos State Waste Management Agency in the area.

It was later put out by a combined team of the Lagos State firefighters and the state emergency management agency.

As the dust settled on the disaster, it was discovered that the firm had been looted, with several items missing.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the soldiers guarding the facility launched a manhunt for the perpetrators and arrested the six suspects.

A police source told our correspondent that the suspects were handed over to the police for further investigation.

The source said, “The hoodlums lived around the scene of the fire incident. They broke into the firm during the fire and stole a lot of valuables. They thought the fire would spread to the firm to cover up their dastardly act.

“The soldiers guarding the firm caught six of them and brought them to the police for prosecution. They perpetrated the act around 11pm that day when the fire was on.”

The suspects were arraigned by the police at an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ogba on three counts of stealing and burglary.

The police prosecutor, Sergeant Raphael Donny, told the court that the offences were punishable under sections 287, 309(1,) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The charges read in part, “That you, Abu Muhammed, Emmanuel George, Abubakar Ibrahim, Abubakar Abdullahi, Bello Champion and Adeniyi Ifelowo, and others now at large, on March 14, 2018, at 23.30hrs, at Olusosun dump, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, with intent to commit felony, broke and entered Revive Technologies offices.

“That you and others at large, on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did steal bulldozer parts, three air conditioners, doors, machine oil, wires, electric cables, weigh bridge machines, generator plant, window blinds, truck parts, computers and switch over box, valued at N8m, property of Revive Technologies, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected summary trial.

The presiding magistrate, Mrs. A.O. Adedayo, granted them bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case till April 4, 2018.

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