Nigerians are reacting to claims by a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG Akingbola, who claims a stolen Toyota Sport Utility Vehicle with chassis number: JTE DW 21A060004010, found in his possession was purchased through a public auction.
Reacting to this, Eye Ayo Samuel, the original owner of the car said the vehicle was stolen in 2014 when armed robbers attacked his home in Erusu Akoko, Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State. He faulted the AIG’s claims, as according to him, information provided for the car auction did not add up.
Samuel said: “It was around midnight a decade ago when some dare-devil robbers broke into my home through the window of the kitchen and threatened to shoot me and my family.
“The intruders made away with five phones including Tecno, Samsung, Blackberry and Nokia brands.
“Not satisfied with their loot, they also took away my N3 million white 2006 model Toyota Highlander Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) marked EKY 850 AJ with chassis number: JTE DW 21A060004010.
“If you look at the auction paper, you will see that there was no registered vehicle number or number plate and no car chassis number displayed or written on the Toyota Highlander auctioned.
“On the contrary, my car was a hybrid Toyota Highlander and it has been registered.
“I was shocked when FRSC called me on my mobile phone repeatedly that my car was discovered among the vehicles whose documents were submitted for number plates, and I was furious.
“Vehicle’s registration number missing from auction notice. The approval for the public auction of the vehicle was issued on August 25, 2015, by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Boniface Onyeabo, in a memo to the Assistant Director of Police Pay Office, Obalende Lagos.
“The correspondence mentioned one Godwin Okafor as the registered police auctioneer approved to handle the public sale of the vehicles including the Toyota Highlander SUV.”
Responding, the ex-police chief explained how he got entangled in controversies surrounding the stolen car. He revealed that the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, is investigating the matter.
He said: “I think the man (Samuel) is just out to destroy himself and not my name. I am a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
“In 2014, I was the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of FEDSARS, Abuja. I was incidentally moved to Adeniji Adele annex of FEDSARS for six months during which there was an auction sale of recovered vehicles
“I was not there when the vehicle was auctioned, but the person to whom the vehicle was sold via auction approached me, saying that the car was a hybrid Toyota Highlander and that the battery was expensive. Hence, he said that he was willing to sell it to me. I was not in charge of FEDSARS at Adeniji Adele Annex then. The person in charge of the office was CP Boniface Onyeabo.
“So, I bought the car for N250,000 from the person who got it through a police auction, and I found that it cost a whopping $3,000 to get a new battery for a hybrid Toyota car.
“I was later introduced to a technician who could fix the battery and brakes of the vehicle. I also did a conversion of the vehicle from a hybrid to a normal car.
“Early this year, I gave it to someone to sell it for me and the person sold it to someone who took it to Abuja.
“I was later told that the vehicle had an issue when he took it to FRSC and I even gave my number to the new owner to call me at the FRSC office so that I could speak with officials there to resolve the problem.
“Suddenly, I was called by the Commissioner of Police, stating that there was a petition against me that a stolen vehicle was found in my possession. So, I visited the CP to explain my side of the storv.
“I know that there are laws governing the sale of vehicles through public auction. I then gave the documents of the auction sale to the Ondo CP, who said that an investigation of the matter would be done.”
Newspread highlight some Netizens reaction to the incident:
Marcus Udodi said: “Justice must be done! Seller and buyer of stolen goods are the same shoes.”
Rashid Olaniyan said: “They need to arrest him immediately because if it’s ordinary man now, it is another story.”
Boss Jaazvi said: “This must be the real definition of police is your friend. E fit be say em help the real wner keep the car as per good friend.”
Chinedu Chukwuma said: “If na ordinary man or common man dey would have humiliated him by now. Let such treatment be metted on him too.”
Lenard Chukwudera said: “Treat him the way you may have treated an ordinary man who bought a stolen car.”
Okala Solomon said: “They will still cover their track for their former oga at the top.”
Obianukor Onyia said: “It depends if the real owner reported to police when the car was stolen at the first instance. If there was not report and no documentation in the police station, the man, the so called original owner, should forget it. Auction property that was recovered from thieves is legal.
Young Egi said: “Make dem arrest am. Him fit know watin happen, during the robbery. “