22-year-old housemaid remanded for stealing N7m valuables

Date: 2015-10-27

A 22-year-old housemaid, David Mary who works for one Hajia Bilikisu Gambari, has been remanded by a Lagos State magistrates' court sitting in Apapa-Wharf for allegedly stealing her madam's property valued at N7m, Punch reports.

Gambari a former Peoples Democratic Party senatorial aspirant for Kwara-Central senatorial district, said she employed Mary from Ilorin, Kwara State in May through one Mr. Sunday on a monthly salary of N10, 000.

According to reports, Mary was arraigned before the court with her boyfriend, Tijani Usman (aka TJ), who reportedly connived with others at large, to lure her into theft.

Three of the fleeing suspects were identified as Peter, Destiny and an unnamed 'foreigner'. Peter was said to be a brother of Usman.

On September 19, Peter reportedly introduced David to the syndicate for a purported money processing business and told her to steal her boss' valuables to procure chemicals for the processing.

Reports reveal the housemaid had stolen about N2m from her employer and kept in an envelope. Mary also stole two golden bangles reportedly valued at about N4m and a N1m cheque and took them to the syndicate's hideout in Ajegunle.

The police said David, who reportedly fled the boss' residence on Ladipo Oluwole Street in Apapa after the alleged theft on September 20, agreed to the deal with a promise that she would be given double of the funds she raised.

Meanwhile, she had gone to collect her share the following day only to be told that the money she brought was fake.

According to her, "I know Peter as a brother to my boyfriend, TJ. On September 19, he (Peter) took me to a place in Ajegunle where he introduced a man to me who claimed to be a foreigner. I also met TJ, one Destiny and other people there.

"They said the foreigner wanted to 'wash' money and told me to bring my boss' money. I searched her bag and found an envelope containing a foreign currency but I did not know the specific amount in it."

Mary said she took the money and her two golden bangles to them.

"On getting there, I met TJ and he told me not to worry. The following Monday, Peter told me that the money I brought was fake. He gave me fake $4,000 and told me to return it to my boss," Mary added.

The employer told the police that she employed David four months ago through an agent in Kwara on a monthly salary of N10, 000, adding that she discovered that her valuables were missing the day David fled the house.

She said, "She stole my gold bangles worth $20,000, $10,000 cash and a Wema Bank cheque of N1m issued to me."

The lovers, David and Usman, reports say were later arrested and charged on three counts bordering on stealing and fraud.

A police prosecutor, ASP Olusoji Ojaokomo, told the court that the offences contravened sections 285, 326 (1) and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The charges read in part, "That you, Mary David, Tijani Usman and others at large, on September 20, 2015 at about 11am on Ladipo Oluwole Street, Apapa in the Lagos Magisterial District, did steal $10, 000, two gold bangles and N1m Wema Bank cheque property of Bilikisu Gambari.

"That you, Tijani Usman and others at large on the same date, time and place did obtain the valuables from Mary David under pretences of paying her back in double."

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The presiding magistrate, Mr. T.O. Bolarinwa, granted them bail in the sum of N500, 000 each with two sureties each in like sum.

Bolarinwa adjourned the case till November 12, 2015 for further hearing.



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