By Jimoh Babatunde and Daniel Eteghe
Four suspects were paraded by the Nigerian Police Force, Airport Command on Friday in connection with the stolen Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and that they will soon appear in court.
Parading the four suspects, Suleiman Issa, Mrs. Sumonu Modupe, Lawal Lateef and Bamidele Johnson, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Airport command, CP Moses Onireti said they were arrested in the early hours of the day by detectives of the force in various locations in the state.
CP. Onireti said the suspects all arrested in Akowonjo and Shasha areas of Alimosho in Lagos, have all made useful statements and that one Yemi, a computer analyst at the popular computer village whom they sold the items is said to be on the run, “efforts are on to track him down.”
He said 20 Direct Data Capture machine were reported stolen and that they recovered 16 but without the essential parts. What we recovered were empty containers as nothing was seen in the bags containing the computers.
The Commissioner of Police, Moses Onireti said the act could not be described as robbery but a “a constructive theft.”
Speaking with reporters later, a mother of three, Mrs. Modupe Sumonu of Samuel Street, Akowonjo narrated how they came about the computers.
“In her words, “they told me they were playing football and Lawal said he wanted to go to toilet, normally they do go there, behind the fence which they share with the airport as their house is close to the boundary of the airport and Shasha. Lawal then called them to come and see something and that was how they came about the computers.
“I asked Lawal and he said as he bent down, he saw a patrol vehicle off-loading something, but he hid from the patrol vehicle as they use to arrest them if they were seen on the tarmac as the place is close to their house.
“Lawal said by the time the patrol left he went to see what they were off-loading and he discovered they were laptops. I asked how many and he told me they were 16. I told them this is dangerous that they should go and return them, but they started shaking, but Suleiman said nothing will happen.
The woman who had once worked as a cleaner at the airport added “Since I don’t know how to operate computer, I said they should bring it out and behind it was written INEC and once he loaded the battery and switched it on, it showed Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I decided to call Yemi from the computer village,and he came; I told him to explain to these boys, Yemi said that this is a federal government property o. Inside the bag was a pair of scissors, CD players,a long camera and another thing they called charger.
“The only regret I have is that I invited Yemi into this case. I and Yemi advised them to return these computers, but they said they can’t do that for fear of what will happen. There and then we all decided that they should be burnt.