The Commissioner of Police in Plateau, Mr Chris Olakpe, on Thursday commended the efforts of Mr Suleiman Haruna, a staff of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), for helping to recover a stolen KIA jeep.
NAN learnt that the car, belonging to one Dr Irene Omogbehin,the Chief Medical Director of Bolanle Specialists’ Hospital, Ikeja, was allegedly stolen on Monday in Lagos.
Narrating how he discovered that the car was a stolen property, Haruna, who works in Bauchi Zonal Office of the agency, said he was in Abuja to see his family over the weekend, but could not return to his station Sunday because his car developed faults, and had to be taken to the mechanic.
“I decided to board a commercial vehicle to Bauchi, through Jos, on Tuesday, as the repairs on my car was taking long.
“As I was standing by the roadside close to Karu International Market in Abuja, a KIA Jeep came close, looking for passengers travelling to Jos, and I boarded it.
“The driver, a young man, told me that he was coming from Lagos, where he claimed to have bought the car he was riding, and would want to sell it.
“He requested me to link him to a buyer, and I obliged, but told him that the person I have in mind was in NAN office in Jos.
“I then requested to see the documents of the vehicle, only to discovered that it was bearing the name of a Yoruba woman in Lagos, yet there was no Change of Ownership paper.
“As I was perusing the document, the driver decided to re-fuel at a filling station, giving me the ample opportunity to pick a phone number from the document.”
Haruna said as they continued the journey, he sent a text message to the number, and a response came, informing him that the car was “stolen in Lagos yesterday” (Monday).
The NAN staff said having confirmed the car to be a stolen property, he tactfully took him (suspect) to NAN office, Jos, under the guise of meeting the “buyer”.
”On reaching NAN office, Jos, I arranged with other staff and got him arrested by the police,” he said.
Reacting to the incident in a telephone interview with NAN in Bauchi, the police commissioner commended Haruna for his “high sense of patriotism and investigative instinct.
“I commend him for his wonderful investigative attribute and high sense of alert. Any other person would have thought it was the responsibility of the police to get the person arrested, but Haruna thought otherwise and assisted us.
“He should be emulated by other Nigerians. I am really proud of him and how I wish others will emulate him for our society to be better.
In a separate telephone interview with NAN on Thursday, Omogbehin, the owner of the stolen car, described Haruna as “God-sent”, adding that she had lost the hope of recovering the car.
“The person that stole the car is my driver. I engaged him just two months ago, and had paid him his monthly salary the same day he left with the car.
“I have communicated with the police and my people are on their way to Jos, to retrieve the car,” she said. [NAN]