A driver, Mayowa Adenuga, has been arrested by operatives of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly stealing his boss’ Automated Teller Machine card and withdrawing over N2.7m.
Also arrested were suspected accomplices in the crime – Adewale Opeyemi, 18, and Jeremiah Iyitoye, 29.
PUNCH Metro gathered that 25-year-old Adenuga, who is also a computer expert, was employed as a driver by a lecturer at UNILAG, Prof. Simbo Banjoko.
It was learnt that the suspect had driven Banjoko to the Bells University on the day of the incident.
While waiting for his boss on the university premises, the driver found Banjoko’s Zenith Bank ATM card in the car and hid it.
Our correspondent gathered that when the victim did not notice that his ATM card was missing, Adenuga used software to uncover the card’s PIN code.
After withdrawing N200,000 from the bank account through the ATM, he allegedly bought four iPhones, valued at N495,000; one Macbook laptop, valued at N415,000; 10 wristwatches, a Blackberry and a ring.
It was learnt that a total of N2,728,255 was withdrawn from the victim’s bank account.
The theft of the ATM card was said to have been referred to the Rapid Response Squad, which later transferred the case to the Anti-Vice Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.
A source said the prime suspect, Adenuga, perfected the crime by blocking his boss’ telephone line so that he would not see the alert of transactions conducted on his account.
He said, “The suspect is the lecturer’s driver. He is also a computer expert. He hid the ATM card for three days and when he saw that the man did not look for it, he used software to get the PIN. He called Adewale (Opeyemi) and handed over the card to him for safekeeping, saying it belonged to his sister.
“When he drove his boss out again at another time, he had access to the man’s phone and deliberately entered the wrong PUK number three times which led to the blockage of the line.”
Our correspondent was told that having succeeded in blocking the line, the suspect contacted Opeyemi and linked him up with another friend, Iyitoye.
He allegedly asked the duo to make transactions with the card on his behalf.
The two men were said to have gone to Shoprite, Ikeja, and Mega Plaza, Victoria Island, where they withdrew N200,000 and purchased the iPhones, Macbook laptop, wristwatches and other items through POS transactions.
It was gathered that the loot was shared among the three men.
A police source explained that Banjoko, who noticed that his telephone line had been blocked, took it to a telecoms centre, where it was reactivated.
“At that point, he received 30 alerts that a total of N2,728,255 had been withdrawn from his account. He reported the matter to the police, and the case was transferred to the RRS.
“When the matter got to the Anti-Vice Section of the SCIID, the police arrested the driver and after interrogation, he confessed to the crime and named his accomplices.
“The police recovered two iPhones 6S Plus, two iPhones SSE, one Macbook laptop, seven GT Shock wristwatches, one Blackberry Z10, one ring and two bags,” the source added.
The suspects were arraigned at the Yaba Magistrate’s Court on two counts of stealing.
The charge read in part, “That you, Mayowa Adenuga, Adewale Opeyemi and Jeremiah Iyitoye, on July 2, 2016, on Olanireti Fesan Street, Magodo, Isheri, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did steal the sum of N2,728,255 only, property of one Professor Simbo Banjoko.”
The police said the offence was punishable under sections 409 and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The magistrate, Mrs. O.A. Erinle, admitted them to bail in the sum of N800,000 with two sureties in like sum.
She added that one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the defendants, who must be a landlord within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case was adjourned till October 17, 2016.