Sunday Eze thought he had struck a goldmine when he learned that his posting had been changed. His employers, a private security firm, had asked him to report to a certain address at Omole Estate Phase II in the Ikeja area of Lagos. He was supposed to work there as a security guard.
By all means, Eze’s new boss, Dayo Famoroti, was a wealthy man. He lived with his family in his own home with a retinue of domestic staff at his beck and call.
Eze, who had served a jail term at the Oba Prison in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, for buying a stolen generator, believed his boss was very rich.
For five days, he studied Famoroti and the environment. On the sixth day, he persuaded another servant named Obinna Uzor to join him in robbing their boss of some of his belongings.
After some deliberation, both men decided to make their move two days after their discussion.
“I used to work for a private security firm in Surulere as a security guard. One day, I was posted to a compound in Omole Estate Phase II; I was told that a security guard was needed there. My salary was N15,000 every month and I had accommodation with my new boss.
“When I got there, I noticed that the man was wealthy. He had good cars and a well furnished home. He had many servants. I got friendly with one of them, Uzor, who is also a native of my home town,” Eze told CRIME DIGEST.
Both men eventually stole some items valued at N25m. Recounting his role in the crime, Uzor said they waited till Sunday before striking.
He said, “The house was usually deserted on Sundays because even the cleaners would go to church, leaving only the security guard. I was off duty on that particular day. I was supposed to have gone home to my brother’s house at Ajah and then report for duty on Monday. Famoroti granted his domestic staff a holiday on the last Sunday of every month.
“So, that Sunday, after everyone, including Famoroti, had left the house for church, we made our move. Eze was the only security guard on duty that morning and this made the robbery much easier because the other security guard was on afternoon duty.”
Uzor said that with the aid of a saw, which he had acquired specifically for the crime, they destroyed the locks on the doors and broke into the house.
Both men allegedly stole valuable items. Uzor went into Famoroti’s room and took the key of his Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle.
Two flat screen television sets, one laptop, some jewellery and a Nokia cell-phone were taken away by the suspected thieves. Satisfied with their loot, both of them immediately set out in the SUV for Nnewi, Anambra State. They did not arrive at their destination until midnight.
They spent the night in a local hotel. At dawn, they set out for Eze’s village, where they felt they would be safe in the meantime, with their loot.
Eze made attempts to get buyers for the vehicle. When it dawned on him that it was not going to be easy selling it, he handed the vehicle to his aged father.
“I told him to find a buyer for the car and with the proceeds, buy himself a smaller car and then to pay the remaining money into my account,” he said.
Fortunately for Famoroti, the vehicle remained in Nnewi for over two months until a team of policemen from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad arrived from Lagos to retrieve it from Eze’s father two weeks ago.
Earlier, Famoroti had been making frantic phone calls to Uzor after he returned from church to find his car and other valuables missing.
“After the robbery, Eze warned me not to return to Famoroti’s house. When we returned from Anambra, I moved in with Eze and began to stay with him in his rented apartment at Mowe, Ogun State. Already, we had kept the stolen electronic equipment and other items in his house.
“We sold off the items one after the other. We sold the smaller plasma TV at N28,000 and disposed of the big one for N15,000. After a month of selling the items, our loot was soon exhausted.
“Since I didn’t have a regular job at hand, I had no more money to fall back on. Out of desperation, I sold my Nokia cell-phone to a girl who lived beside Eze’s house for N10,000. She paid me N9,000 and each time I asked for the balance of N1,000, she would make excuses,” Uzor said.
About a month after this, Uzor and Eze were apprehended by the police in Lagos.
Confirming the arrests, the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko said, “Uzor was tracked through the phone, which he had sold to his neighbour. We contacted the young lady and she agreed to cooperate with us. After he confessed to the crime, he also called Eze on the phone to ascertain his whereabouts. At the time, Eze was on his way back from Lagos Island and was at Ojodu-Berger. The SARS team waited for him and he was arrested as soon as he arrived in his home.”