By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—A 33-year-old barber, who was arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, while fleeing with vandalised vehicles parts from a company in Victoria Island, Lagos, has alleged that a spare parts dealer at the popular Ladipo International Market, Mushin, Lagos, was his boss.
The suspect, Olawasegun Oladimeji, who just finished serving a three-month jail term over a similar incident, alleged that he had been working for the auto parts dealer for eight years.
Vanguard gathered that the suspect stormed an unnamed company’s premises, where he allegedly vandalised some vehicles. He was alleged to have also stolen some phones belonging to the guards, who were sleeping.
However, one of the guards woke up and sighted the intruder leaving the premises. He raised the alarm that attracted a team of RRS on patrol, who apprehended him and recovered several Toyota Corolla body parts and some phones from him.
During preliminary investigation, Oladimeji was discovered to have been released from prison after he was jailed for three months for removing Toyota body parts from a park at Apapa.
Oladimeji then disclosed that an auto parts dealer at Ladipo Market (names withheld) usually told him the specifications of cars to vandalise.
According to him, “oga (the auto parts dealer) has my number. He usually called me to give me the type of vehicle body parts that are on high demand in the market. He would tell me to get them for him.
“I have been working for him for eight years. I steal different vehicle body parts, particularly Toyota products.
I usually vandalise Toyota Corolla brain box, headlights, rear light and buttons. Since I came back from prison in November 2016, I have stolen brain-boxes from 47 cars. My targets are Toyota products.
“Whenever I am going on operation, he is the one that gives me transport money. Most times, he told me the specifications of the car he wants me to operate on.”
On the latest operation, he said: “I live in Marwa, Victoria Island. I had surveyed the company earlier in the day. And I knew those cars belonged to that company. At about 4a.m, I had removed all I needed to remove.
“The security man sighted me and raised alarm. Unfortunately for me, RRS officers, who were on patrol, joined in the chase and succeeded in arresting me.
“I usually broke one of the small side glasses at the back seat of vehicles from where I vandalise the needed parts. Thereafter, I would call Oga, who would tell me where to meet any of his boys for the collection of the parts. He usually sent Onyema and Chukwu to collect the parts from me.
“We usually meet at Boundary in Ajegunle or at Toyota Bus Stop, Oshodi. I sell Toyota Corolla brain box for N30,000; N25,000 or N20,000. The least of the parts is N2,000.”
Two others arrested
His confessional statement led to the arrest of the mentioned errand boys—Onyema and Chukwu.
In his confessional statement, Chukwu said: “Our boss usually gives me N30,000 to N35,000 to give to Segun and collect the goods from him. At times, he gave me N1,000 or N500 after the deal.
“Occasionally, he would tell me ‘nothing dey on top’ (there is no extra money). Segun has been supplying stolen spare parts to him for some years. We are just hustlers.”
Confirming the incident, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, disclosed that the suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Yaba, for further investigation.
She added that the Command would not rest on its oars at nipping in the bud criminal activities in the state.