By ALBERT AKPOR
FOR two years, Osakpolor Igbinosa, the Oriowon, Edo State born Material Security Officer attached to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC, with its head office in Victoria Island, Lagos, had basked in the euphoria of stealing printed naira notes from his company without being caught.
With the proceeds of his criminality, Osakpolor had bought a Pathfinder Jeep and built a state of the art bungalow at his home town and lived above his income to the consternation of his colleagues. As a security officer he carried out his nefarious deal without a tincture of suspicion.
He searched other staff while closing for the day’s job; but right under his sucks and pants were a few naira notes masterly tucked in.
But like the age-long aphorism which says ‘every day for the thief, one day for the owner,’ the 43 year-old secondary school graduate and father of four is presently telling the police the story of his life as his hitherto ‘lucrative business’ has spelt his doom.
Though Osakpolor had as usual succeeded in meandering through the highly secured NSPMC gate with his loot, the long arm of the law caught up with him while attempting to exchange some of the stolen naira notes for the US Dollars somewhere in the suburbs of Ikorodu, Lagos.
Betraying emotions while narrating how he was beaten to his act, Igbinosa who was clad in a pair of jeans trousers, a stripe long sleeve shirt and leather sandal to match said: “I know my game is up, all I need now is mercy of God because of my wife and four children.
“I want to correct one impression that I belong to a syndicate who specialize in printing fake naira notes. I am not. I am a staff of NSPMC, a material security officer; anybody can go and find out. My staff number is MSC/4503. Others said I printed the notes by myself, that is a lie. What happened is that I normally steal some of the notes that have no security numbers on them from my company and outside, I would exchange them for the genuine old ones.
“I have been doing it; most Nigerians are not conscious of the numbers. When they see crispy notes, they will readily jump on them. So, that is what I have been doing since 2010. In 2010, I stole for two weeks consecutively and made big money; I can’t tell you the amount now. And I have been spending the money without anybody knowing. With it, I bought my Pathfinder jeep and built my house.
“In 2011, I did not steal much because there was a new security head who was not friendly at all. But this year, 2012, he was redeployed to another section and that gave me the leverage to start again. I have been doing it since this year and I felt it was time I traveled outside the country.
The ones that the police recovered from me were the last ones I wanted to dispose of before the Mallam at the place I normally do my exchange discovered. I do not know how they got me this time around but I think it was God that wanted to expose me.
“What I want you people to do for me is to beg the police to have mercy on me not for my sake but for the sake of my wife and four children. They did not know how I got the money with which they fed. Let them leave me so that I can repent, serve God and live a good life.”
But the Police through its public relations officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, said no matter how pathetic and convincing his tale of criminality may sound, the law will have to take its full course. She said “On September 19, 2012 at about 4.00pm.
Business of exchange
She said: “One Abdulraham Abdullahi of Benson Plaza Ikorodu alerted police men attached to Shagamu road that one Osakpolor Igbinosa of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company located on Victoria Island with staff number MSC./4503 transacted a business of exchange of nine hundred naira for three thousand US Dollars.
During the transaction, the said nine hundred thousand naira was discovered to be fake because the notes do not have security/minting numbers. The suspect was promptly arrested by the Police and during interrogation, he confessed being a security man attached to the NSPMC and that he stole the nine hundred thousand counterfeit money from the office.
He further stated that he had been stealing the counterfeit money since 2010 and bought a Nissan Pathfinder Jeep with registration number KRD 480AE from the illegal business. He even attempted to bribe the police who came to effect his arrest with the sum of N300, 000 but the offer was turned down.”
The Police image maker further stated that a total of N320,000 genuine money was recovered from him adding that he would soon be charged to court under the relevant section of the law.