While members of Tower of God’s Grace Ministry Church, Isheri, Lagos, slept off after a long vigil, Samuel Adetomi, an apprentice tailor, had a different plan entirely.
The 18-year-old young man allegedly sneaked into the church and stole three mobile phones belonging to some church members, who were asleep.
City Round gathered that Adetomi was learning tailoring on Ajibade Street, Isheri, some distance from Agbedina Street where the church is located.
It was learnt that he and his friend, one Tunmise, had slept in the corridor of the church on March 15, 2019 while the vigil was going on.
After the prayer ended, the members were said to have passed the night in the church.
While they were asleep, Adetomi reportedly sneaked into the church and removed the mobile phones from the sockets where they were being charged.[
Our correspondent learnt that he gave one of the phones to one 16-year-old Damilola, who saw him coming out of the church, and took the remaining two to a friend, Azeez Akinola, for safekeeping.
It was learnt that the church reported the case to the police and the suspects were arrested.
In his statement, Adetomi said he was planning on what to do with the mobile phones when the police arrested him.
He said, “I dropped out from school at Senior Secondary School One. I am currently undergoing apprenticeship in tailoring.
“On March 15, around 11pm, I went to a plaza close to the church and slept in the corridor. My friend, Tunmise, and I slept there. Around 3am, I woke up and walked into the church auditorium.
“The congregation had slept off after a vigil. I checked around and saw three mobile phones being charged and removed them. Immediately I got outside, Damilola saw me with the three phones. He asked me where I got them from and I told him they were stolen.
“He asked me to give him a phone; I gave him one of the two Infinix Hot 6 handsets. One boy, David, was with him but he did not know I gave him the phone. I went to a hotel in Isheri where I gave the two remaining phones to Azeez to keep.”
Damilola, admitted that he received one of the stolen phones, adding that he collected it as his share of the loot because he knew Adetomi stole them from the church.
Akinola, who also confirmed Adetomi’s account, stated that they had become friends four days before the crime was committed.
He said, “I was in front of the hotel when he came with the phones. It was after I pressured him that he told me he stole the phones.
“We went to hide the phones in a kiosk and departed. When I learnt in the morning that Samuel (Adetomi) had been arrested, I went to pick the phones and took them home. I was at home when Samuel led policemen to arrest me.”
The three suspects were consequently charged to a magistrates’ court sitting in Ogba on four counts of stealing.
The police prosecutor, ASP Ben Emuerhi, told the court that the offence was in contravention of sections 287 and 328(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
However, when the charges were read to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty and elected summary trial.
The Presiding Magistrate, Mrs. O. Sule-Hamzat, admitted them to bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties each in like sum.