“I stole eight prepaid meters because my sister’s own was taken by my oga who teaches me an electrical vocation.”
That was the reason given by Gospel Osuala, a 26-year-old apprentice electrician when asked what had prompted him into stealing while being paraded by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) before newsmen with two other accomplices, Oladele Ibukun, 42, and Dayo Akinlade, 40, for stealing eight prepaid meters in Ondo State said that starvation and frustration led him into the act.
Mr Osuala said on Wednesday that he began stealing two weeks ago.
“My sister threw me out of her house because of my oga’s action.
“I had no way to fend for myself and I was starving. I got frustrated and stole the meters. I won’t do it again and I am sorry for doing it in the first place,” he said.
Mr Osuala was caught with only three meters.
He said he had sold the other five meters he stole, adding that he was confessing so that the matter could be settled at once
“I was caught with only three meters. NSCDC didn’t know about the other five meters. That is why I decided to confess to everything so they can retrieve the ones I sold.
“I know that if I did not confess to all now the ones I sold would eventually be traced to me and I don’t want to get arrested a second time,” Mr Osuala added.
Addressing newsmen after Mr Osuala’s confession, commandant of the NSCDC in Ondo State, Hammed Abodunrin, said the suspects were paraded to sensitise the public to be wary about the source of whatever they bought.
“We warn that anyone caught with stolen prepaid meters would be treated as an accomplice because thieves don’t continue to steal if there are no recipients of stolen goods,” he said.
He explained that the acquisition of a prepaid meter is procedural and not something one gets off the shelf.
“We warn members of the public to be wary about who they patronise to get prepaid meters since the issuance is restricted to constituted institutions,” Mr Abodunrin stressed.