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Monday, 28 August 2017

Lagos task force official steals impounded motorcycle.

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An official of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, Olajide Felix, has been arrested for allegedly stealing an impounded motorcycle.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Felix allegedly removed the motorcycle on the premises of the task force in Oshodi, and used it for commercial purposes.

The motorcycle, a Boxer Bajaj with number plate, AYE 441 QC, was said to be among 95 motorcycles seized from okada riders reportedly plying restricted routes in the Berger area of the state.

Our correspondent learnt that the theft was discovered by an official, who was taking records of the impounded motorcycles.

Investigations conducted on the case reportedly implicated Felix, a paramilitary (Man ‘O’ War) official, and he was summoned.

“The paramilitary official was a member of the enforcement team that impounded motorcycles plying restricted routes around the Berger area on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

“After the team got to the office and re-counted the impounded motorcycles, it was discovered that one was missing. After a thorough investigation, it was discovered that Felix stole the missing motorcycle,” an official said.

The Head, Public Affairs Unit of the task force, Adebayo Taofiq, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday, said the suspect had confessed to the crime.

Felix, in his statement to the police, allegedly stated that he had been using the motorcycle for commercial ends.

“I stole the motorcycle. It was one of the 95 motorcycles impounded during the enforcement operation at Berger. I had been using it for commercial purposes before I was arrested with it,” he said.

The 31-year-old indigene of Oro in Kwara State, said it was the devil that pushed him into the act.
“I have never engaged in criminal activities since I was born,” he added.

The Acting Chairman of the agency, DSP Wilson Alaba, warned other operatives to desist from criminal activities.

He said the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had directed that the suspect be immediately prosecuted.

He said, “The Lagos State Government has been paying huge allowances as and when due to every member of the agency’s paramilitary officials to cater to their needs and to equally prevent them from indulging in criminal acts.

“The agency just concluded a three-day workshop tagged, ‘Work Ethics and Attitudinal Change For Law Enforcement and Field Officers,’ for all paramilitary officials as approved by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.”

Felix, who was arraigned before the Lagos State Mobile Court on one count of stealing, pleaded not guilty.

The charge read, “That you, Olajide Felix, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace by stealing an impounded Boxer Bajaj motorcycle, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 168 (1)(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.”

The presiding magistrate, Mr. Lateef Owolabi, granted him bail in the sum of N30,000 with two sureties each in like sum.

The magistrate added that the sureties must be the defendant’s blood relations and must present evidence of three years’ tax payments.

The case was adjourned till August 30, 2017 for trial.