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Three men face N800m property theft charge


Three men, Ernest Onihonriawo, Yusuf Abubakar and Felix Gift, who allegedly broke into a warehouse and stole printing machines and other items worth N800 million, were on Wednesday brought before an Apapa Magistrates’ Court, in Lagos State.

The defendants Onihonriawo, 37, Abubakar, 24 and Gift, 19, are standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing.

They, however, pleaded not guilty.

The prosecutor, Insp. Cyriacus Osuji, told the court that the trio committed the offences on Jan. 22, at Odogunyan in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

He said that the defendants broke into a property belonging to West Mart Nig. Ltd. and stole the items.

“Among the items carted away by the defendants are Windsor extrusion machine, Extrusion lamination and coating with unwinding and rewinding options.

“The others include Grarure printing machines with electrical and electronics panels, Super Combi complete machine with mixer and dryer, solvent-based laminating machine, and boiler for lamination,” the prosecutor said.

According to him, the defendants also stole Atlas coupon compressor machines, 250mm armored cable, air conditioners, fans, change-over units, aluminum roofing sheets and power generator spare parts.

“The total value of all the items stolen is N800 million. The items belong to West Mart Nig. Ltd.,” Osuji said.

The alleged offences contravene Sections 280(1)(a), 309(2), 399 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2015.

The Magistrate, Mr O. O. Olatunji, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N20 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties must present evidence of three years’ tax payment to Lagos State Government, adding that one of the sureties must be a property owner in the state.

He adjourned the case until March 3 for mention.