Salesman Dragged To Court For Allegedly Stealing N20m Goods

Report gathered that a 30-year-old salesman, Taofeek Ogundeji, has been arrested for allegedly stealing his boss’ goods valued at N20.3m.

It was learnt that the boss, Alhaja Jemilat Seriki, employed Ogundeji in 2012 to manage her shop in the Oroyinyin Plaza, Lagos Island, where she deals in baby wears.

Report gathered that the suspect, who hails from Ijomu-Oro, Kwara State, had reportedly connived with some load carriers operating in the area to steal cartons of wears estimated at N20.3m between January and July 2015.

It was said that the boss got wind of the alleged act on July 29. It was learnt that she had directed the suspect to bring some cartons of wears from the store on the fateful day, but he reportedly used the avenue to steal five packs, and gave them to the carriers, who are still at large.

Our correspondent learnt that the case was reported at the Adeniji Adele Police Station, leading to Ogundeji’s arrest.

Seriki told the police that the theft on July 29 prompted her to take an inventory of her stock after which she discovered that N20m goods were missing.

She said, “I usually send Taofeek (Ogundeji) to bring goods from my store. On the fateful day, I sent him as usual. I later discovered that he took extra five cartons of baby wears which I learnt he gave to some carriers to take to an unknown place. The value of the five cartons is N315,000. That made me take the inventory of my stock and I discovered that N20m wears are missing.”

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However, the suspect in his statement to the police denied committing the crime. He said other than gains he made on goods sold at excess prices, he had never stolen his boss’ money.

He said, “On that day, I went to the store, brought 16 cartons of baby clothes, five cartons of baby bibs and a sack of baby caps. I called three mallams (Hausa) and a boy living with the complainant and we carried the goods in bits to the shop. The following day, my boss insisted that I produce the missing goods or pay for them. I said I didn’t know anything about the goods. I have never stolen her money.”

A police prosecutor, Sergeant F. Okere, brought the suspect before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court on three counts of stealing.

The charges read in part, “That you, Taofeek Ogundeji, and others now at large, between January and July 2015 at Oroyinyin Plaza, Lagos Island, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit; stealing of baby wears valued at N20m, property of one Alhaja Jemilat Seriki.”

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The presiding magistrate, L.A. Owolabi, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

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