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Yuletide: Lagos residents form vigilante over livestock theft

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Foil attempt to steal goat, arrest suspect

By Evelyn Usman

Funny as it may sound, some residents of Igando, Akesan, Egan and environs in Alimosho Local Government Area of the State have deliberately deprived themselves of sleep, just to keep watch over their live stock.

This followed cases of reported disappearance of some of their domestic animals which were reared for the purpose of selling them this season.

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One of the residents who spoke with Crime Guard, Mrs Gboyega Ajiboye, said, “my family depends on this business for survival. We rear chickens, goats, ducks and pigs, just like other families. But we noticed that whenever festive period like this is approaching, these live stock would be disappearing.

Even if you put mark of identification on them, you can’t identify yours if you find it among others in the market because the thief would have cleaned the marks on them. Most times, they would steal as many as 50 fowls from our community and take them elsewhere to sell at give away prices.

When this continued this year, we decided to create vigilante team to guard our live stock. We rotated the watch days among us”.
The idea seemed to have paid off, as attempt by a six-man gang which stormed the area to steal some live stock was foiled. While five members of the gang managed to escape and forced to release some of the stolen animals, one of them was not that lucky as he was apprehended with a stolen goat belonging to a resident identified as Wasiu Adamson.

The goat which was said to be worth N50,000 according to the owner, would have been sold as low as N20,000 or N15,000 had the operation been successful.

Another resident said , “We were made to understand that the robbers usually sprayed powdery substance that would put the animals to sleep during operation. That is why when they would be taking them away, there won’t be any noise “.

The 23-year-old suspect, Fatai Yaya, was then handed over to the Police at Igando division from where he was charged to court for conspiracy and stealing.

He however pleaded not guilty to the charge and the prosecutor, Mr Simeon Njue, asked the court to fix a date for hearing, to enable the Police prove that he committed the offence.

The presiding Magistrate, T.O Shomade, granted the suspect bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum.
But he was remanded in prison custody pending when he would meet the bail conditions while the matter was adjourned till January 8,2020.

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