BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
A 38-year-old man, Idris Adejumo, has been arrested by the operatives of the Osun State Police Command for allegedly stealing a vehicle belonging to Lucky Michael, his master.
Adejumo, father of three, was said to have been handed a Sienna space bus to use for intra-city transportation within Port Harcourt, Rivers State, by the vehicle owner, but he allegedly drove the vehicle to Osun State without the knowledge of his master.
It was gathered that the suspect was arrested at a popular motor spare parts market in Osogbo after he had sold the vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer.
A member of the police team that effected Adejumo’s arrest disclosed that Michael had reported the missing vehicle at a police station in Port Harcourt before being tracked down by the Police in Osogbo.
Michael said, “I gave the bus to him (Adejumo) for transportation business within Port Harcourt on an agreement of daily returns of a certain amount of money. About a month after I gave him my bus, I didn’t see him return to me. I tried calling his mobile line, he told me that the vehicle developed a mechanical fault and that he was repairing it. I told him to tell me the mechanic workshop (where the car was being repaired) so that I could come and see it, (but) he switched-off his cell.
“Ever since, I didn’t hear from him, and his telephone wasn’t reachable. I reached out to his wife and children in Port Harcourt and they denied knowing his whereabouts. I later reported the matter at the police station, so they started trailing him. We later found out that he drove the bus to Osogbo and that he had sold it. The buyer said that he already gave him N50, 000 and that he didn’t pay the balance because the vehicle documents that Adejumo gave him were not original.”
After the completion of investigation and having recovered the allegedly stolen vehicle, the suspect was dragged before an Osogbo Magistrate’s court over alleged theft of a bus valued at N1.8million.
The one-count charge preferred against the driver reads that “You (Idris Adejumo), on November 9, 2021, at about 5pm at Ajegunle area, Osogbo, did unlawfully possess one Toyota Sienna vehicle with registration number FST 286 EG, suspected to have been stolen from Ofuju Igwuruta, Rivers State, valued at N1.8million, property of one Lucky Michael.”
The police prosecutor, Inspector Kayode Adeoye, informed the court that the defendant committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 430 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34 Volume II Laws of Osun State, 2002.
Adejumo pleaded not guilty to the charge, while his counsel, Najite Okobe, urged the court to grant his client bail in liberal terms on presentation of reliable sureties.
Magistrate O. A. Daramola granted Adejumo bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in the same amount. One of the sureties, the magistrate said, must be a house owner resident within the jurisdiction of the court, and must submit the original documents of the house to the court.
The other surety, the court said, must be one of the defendant’s biological parents. Daramola added that the sureties must produce three-year-tax clearance and means of identification issued by the government.
Adejumo was remanded at the Ilesa Correctional Centre for failing to meet the bail conditions.
The defendant urged the complainant to take over the care of his wife and three children as he was remanded in prison custody.