HE looked repentant but seemed not to know why he decided to commit the allegedly crime for which he may spend substantial years of his life in prison custody as this reporter approached him at the custody of Area â€˜Fâ€™ Police Command Headquarters,Â Ikeja Lagos for a chat.Â
â€œI know you are a press man, but Oga, I want you to help me because if you ask me why I thief my oga motor, I no fit talk now.Â Honestly,Â I do not know why I had to steal the bus, my master was too nice to me, I do not want to go to court,â€ he lamented; fighting tears.
Resigning to fate to eke a living through (criminality?)
Morufu Musa now 21,Â had resolved to take to bus conducting ,popularlyknown in Yoruba language as Agbero as a means of livelihood at age 18;Â having dropped out of school for financial constraints.Â He had conducted for several bus owners on various routes in Lagos metropolis until he met his present master whom he simply identified Oga Deji.
He had exhibited his prowess in chanting various destinations to attract passengers before Oga Deji who did not hesitate to hire him for the purposeÂ But no sooner than the Ede, Osun state born bus conductor started with his new master that he started nursing unguided ambition to steal the same bus.
Though according to him, he fought the devilish thought for several weeks, but family pressure and the inordinate quest to make quick money superceded the urge to steal.Â And so on December 17, 2009 he successful carried out his nefarious deed.Â Surreptitiously, Morufu sneaked into his master Oshodi residence haven duplicated the key to the bus marked JPG 2356 KB, opened the bus and drove it away from where it was parked and headed for Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
His mission was to sell it immediately, use the proceed to open a provision store, get married and settle for life.Â Â But that was not to be.Â Detectives from Area â€˜Fâ€™ where the matter was reported had swung into action and upon a tip-off,Â stormed somewhere in Ibadan where the bus which plate number had already been replaced was undergoing refurbishment preparatory to be re-sprayed to a different colour entirely and got him arrested.
The wages of theft is arrest, prosecution
Narrating why he chose to steal the bus and how he was eventually rounded up by law enforcement officers, Morufu said,Â Â â€œOga,Â I want make you help me beg them police make them no carry me go to court, because nobody go come for my bail.Â My name is Morufu Musa; I am from Ede in Osun state.Â We are seven in my family and I am the fourth child.
I decide to go into bus conducting since I could not continue with my education because of money.Â My father is late and my mum is a petty trader.Â None of my uncles or aunties showed sings of assistance since our father died.Â I have been working as a bus conductor for about three years now and I joined my present master; Oga Deji since last year.
When it became clear that things were going out of hands in the family, I decided to come to Lagos as a man to live a life.
And eventually I took to bus conducting because that gives immediate money.Â Â I was making money and ending some to my mother in Ede.Â But suddenly a thought came to me to steal the bus which I was conducting.Â And come to think of it, I have been with my present master for almost one year now and he was very nice to me.Â Initially, I fought that idea of stealing the bus; but I succumbed after another thought came to assure me that I could make good money with which to settle in live.
That is why I cannot really say why I had to steal this particular bus; may be I should have stolen another personâ€™s bus. honestly, I really feel bad about the whole thing.â€
Continuing, Morufu said, â€œ When I finally decided to steal the bus, I thought of how to do it and another thought came to duplicate the keys and the opportunity came one day when he said I should wash the bus, I got a key soap and pressed the key on it and took it to Mushin where they helped me to do after I told them lies that it was my Oga that sent me.
One night, I went to my masterâ€™s house at Oshodi very late in the night and drove the bus away from where it was parked.
The following morning I took off to Ibadan.Â There,Â I got another plate number from an accident vehicle andÂ took it to the printer where they printed the number plate for me which I used in order to sell it.Â But while all these were going on, the police came and arrested me.Â I feel very bad about it.Â If to say I know, I for dey managing the small small money wey I dey get for the hustle wey I dey husrtle as condor.Â Oga please make una help me.â€
Law is no respecter of age, creed says Police
Meanwhile, the Police say neither Morufuâ€™s age nor circumstances surrounding his crime matteredÂ in the eyes of the law stressing that a prima facie case of stealing has been established against him and therefore,Â would face the full wrath of the law.
â€œMorufuâ€™s case is that of stealing and conspiracy to steal.Â The law is very clear on that.Â His age, look and or circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime is irrelevant before the eyes of the law.
We will charge him for stealing and of course, the law allows bail before prosecution even in criminal matters.Â So his entitled to bail.â€