Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guard burgles bosses’ house, steals car, jewellery

A 28-year-old guard, Paul Onazi, has been arrested for allegedly stealing a Toyota Camry car and jewellery belonging to his bosses ─ Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ekpesi ─ who live in Gowon Estate in the Egbeda area of Lagos.

     PUNCH Metro gathered that Onazi, who occupied a mini flat on the couple’s premises, and his friend, who is still at large, committed the act around 4.30pm on Sunday, January 25, 2015 when his bosses had gone to church.

     It was said the suspects broke into the couple’s apartment and made off with foreign currencies, laptops and phones, among other valuables – all of which were valued at N9m.

   Our correspondent gathered that the guard, a 200 level student, who hails from Benue State, was enrolled in the University of Lagos by Epkesi to study philosophy. He reportedly earned N30,000 per month, apart from being given three square meals a day.

       Our correspondent learnt further that the couple was astonished that Onazi, who had been living with them for years, could commit such criminal act.

   The crime was said to have been reported to policemen attached to the Gowon Estate Police station, leading to Onazi’s arrest.

     The police said the car and other stolen items had been recovered while efforts were being made to track down the fleeing accomplice.

   It was, however, learnt that the money had yet to be recovered.

   A prosecutor, Lugard Ahonle, on Monday, arraigned the defendant before an Ojokoro Magistrate’s Court on five counts bordering on burglary and stealing.

   He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges which, according to the police, are contrary to and punishable under sections 409, 305, 306, 337 and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.

   The charges read in part, “That you, Paul Onazi, and one other at large, on January 25, 2015 at about 4.30pm on 3rd Avenue, Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Lagos, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony, and unlawfully break into one Samuel Ekpensi’s house through the window.

   “That you, and one other at large, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district did steal a Toyota Camry Salon car, 2008 model, with registration number, MJ 01 KJA, valued at N7m; the cash sum of ₤6,000, $100, €235; two Ipad phones; two laptops; two DVD players; twenty boxes of gold jewellery; one Nokia Lumia 920; one Motorola handset; a Samsung phone; one bag of cosmetics. All the stolen items valued at N9,191,000, property of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ekpensi.”

     The defence counsel, Dipo Lawal prayed the court to admit the defendant to bail in most liberal terms on the grounds that “some of the stolen items had been recovered and the incident was a master-servant relationship gone sour.”

     The presiding magistrate, Mrs. T. Akani, granted Onazi bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in the like sum and adjourned till March 15.

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