A 37-year-old man, Ikechukwu Duru, has been arrested by the police for allegedly stealing a smartphone worth N48,000 at Our Saviour Anglican Church, Lagos, during the service of songs of a late member of the church.
PUNCH Metro learnt that on August 30, 2018, around 6.30pm, Duru allegedly entered into the church like other worshipers to attend the burial programme.
It was gathered that as the congregation closed their eyes for prayers, Duru stole the phone belonging to one James Etta.
He was said to have escaped from the church hall, unknown to him that the CCTV cameras inside the church had captured him.
Our correspondent learnt that the suspect used the stolen phone to withdraw the sum of N263,000 from the account of the victim and sold the phone at a giveaway price.
Duru was arrested when he went back to the church on September 3.
It was learnt that security men on the church’s premises, who recognised him, called the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Lion Building Police Division, Lagos Island, who deployed his men in the church to arrest the suspect.
Duru was arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrates’ Court on one count of stealing.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The police counsel, Chinedu Njoku, in charge No B/84/2018, said the suspect deliberately entered the church to steal the phone.
“He used the phone to withdraw the sum of N101,000 and N162,000 from the account of the victim and sold the phone. Unknown to him, the CCTV cameras had captured him,” he added.
Njoku said the offence was punishable under Section 267 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The Chief Magistrate, Folashade Botoku, granted him bail in the sum of N10,000 with one surety in like sum.
Botoku adjourned the case till October 3, 2018, for mention and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Ikoyi Prison till he perfected his bail conditions.