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Man docked over theft of N126.8m swamp buggy

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By Onozure Dania

A 36 year old man, Samuel Okon, who allegedly stole a swamp buggy worth N126, 800,000, was yesterday arraigned before a Lagos Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Igbosere.

Arrested and handcuffed

Okon was charged before the court by the Force Intelligence Bureau, FIB, Force Headquar-ters, Obalende, Lagos.

The defendant is facing a three count charge of conspiracy, stealing and obstruction of policemen on lawful duty, preferred against him by the Police.

The prosecutor, Sergeant Friday Mameh, told the court that the offences were committed on December 31, 2016 at May Fair Garden, Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State. He said Okon was hired by Black Apple Ltd, Lekki, to carry out excavation work at Lekki with the Swamp Buggy.

“Okon, after finishing the work, did not return the Swamp Buggy to Black Apple, but secretly began work with another contractor with the Swamp Buggy,” the prosecutor stated.

Mameh also informed the court that the company tried to reach Okon on phone but his lines were switched off and he never returned to the office.

Mameh said: “The Company reported the matter to the police, which, sometime last year, tracked Okon to his home in Ajah and arrested him.

“Last June 28, the FIB granted Okon administrative bail pending conclusion of investigation, after he brought his flatmate, Opara Mark, as his surety and fulfilled other conditions.”

Okon allegedly absconded afterwards.

The Police, last July 18, charged Mark before Magistrate Y. O. Aro-Lambo on two counts of aiding Okon’s escape and obstructing the course of justice.

Opara pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.

Mameh said in the course of Opara’s trial, Okon’s phone number became active and the FIB tracked his line and found his hideout, following which he was arrested and arraigned.

Opara’s case was subsequently discontinued.

His counsel, Mrs Helen Ibeji applied for his bail “in the most liberal terms. The defendant has no previous criminal record and has credible sureties willing to stand for him.”

In a bench ruling, Magistrate Aro-Lambo granted Okon N2 million bail with two sureties in the like sum, and adjourned further hearing till April 3.

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