A driver, Edem Bassey Effiong, a native of Calabar, Cross River State, southsouth Nigeria, who disappeared in Lagos with his employer’s Toyota car three days after he was employed, has been arrested by the police in Calabar.
He was interrogated and later arraigned in court and jailed two years after he pleaded guilty to the crime. The police also recovered the stolen car from him and returned it to the owner.
The suspect was jailed by Magistrate E. Kubeinje in charge of Court 15 sitting at the Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, after he pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of stealing preferred against him.
The police at Ikoyi Division, Lagos, arrested him in Calabar following a tip off by people in Bassey’s village who suspected him when he drove the car to his village.
Bassey’s problem started in May 2013 when he was sent by his employer, Mr. Bryant Oluwole to drop his wife at a Baptist Church in Ikoyi, Lagos.
After the woman dropped off the car and went inside the church, Bassey drove the car straight to his village in Calabar where he tried to sell it.
When all efforts by the couple to trace the driver and the car proved futile, they reported the matter to the police, who arrested the suspect’s guarantor, Ossang Emmanuel.
Emmanuel introduced the fleeing driver to the couple for employment. He was charged to court for conspiracy and stealing a Toyota car valued at N1,500,000.
Following the report of the incident on 13 May, 2013, people in the suspect’s village who claimed they read the story on the internet, reported Bassey to the police.
The police in Calabar further informed the police at Ikoyi Division, Lagos about the suspect’s arrest, and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Division SP Aisha Haruna dispatched a team to Calabar to fetch the suspect and the stolen car.
During interrogation, Bassey confessed that he stole the car. The offences, the prosecutor Inspector, Clifford Ogu said, contravened section 409 and 285 (10) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.
In her ruling, Magistrate E. Kubeinje said, though the accused pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him by the police without wasting time of the count, the law must take its course because the accused betrayed the trust reposed in him by his employer.
She accordingly sentenced the accused to two years imprisonement without an option of fine.