A commercial driver, Emmanuel Oleka, who reported a man who owed him money to the police, has been arrested after allegedly leading a gang to beat the debtor up.
It was gathered that Oleka and other suspects had trailed the debtor, Victor Kelechi, to Oregie Road in the Ajegunle area of Lagos around 7pm on Tuesday.They reportedly waylaid him and smashed the glass of his car.
As he attempted to flee, one of the attackers allegedly inflicted injury in his hand with a cutlass.
The gang was also said to have made away with N55,000 and a phone belonging to the victim.
However, Oleka and the other arrested suspects ─ Victor Clement, Daniel Okoi, Chioma Oweize and Wale Idowu ─ denied attacking Kelechi, saying it was a mob, who heard the shout of ‘thief, thief’ that injured him.
But for an eyewitness, who reportedly alerted the policemen at the Ajeromi station, our correspondent learnt Kelechi would have been lynched.
The witness, who identified himself only as Paul, said, “I was driving along the road on the fateful day when I saw a crowd attacking the man (Kelechi). When I saw that the situation was going out of hand, I called the police.”
Our correspondent was told that Kelechi had in 2008, when Oleka was dealing in petroleum products, bought diesel worth N260,000 from him and promised to pay some days later.
He was said to have reneged on the promise and stayed away from the creditor’s reach. It was learnt that Oleka eventually ran into him in the Festac area sometime last year and reported him to the police, leading to his arrest.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Kelechi after writing an undertaking at the police station, paid N207,000 of the sum in installment to the creditor through the police.
A police prosecutor, ASP Olusoji Ojaokomo, brought Oleka and other suspects before an Apapa Magistrate’s Court on four counts bordering on assault and stealing.
The charges read in part,
“That you, Emmanuel Oleka, Victor Clement, Daniel Okoi, Chioma Oweize, Wale Idowu and others now at large, on June 30, 2015, at about 6.40pm at Dusbin bus stop, Oregie, Ajegunle, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit; unlawful damaged of Menz C230 saloon car marked, FST 646 DM.
“That you and others at large, on the same date, time and place, in the afore said magisterial district, did steal the sum of N55,000; a wallet containing a voter card, ATM cards, a driving licence and one Samsung Galaxy XIV valued at N75,000, property of one Victor Kelechi.”
“That you and others now at large did assault Victor Kelechi by using a cutlass to his right hand which caused him bodily harm.”
The presiding magistrate, Mr. P.A. Adekomaya, admitted them to bail in the sum of N50,000 each with a surety each in like sum.The case was adjourned till July 29, 2015.