A 41-year-old former casual worker at Bayelsa Staff Government House, identified as Yinkere Goodman and arrested for allegedly stealing solar batteries at Bayelsa State Government House, has said he was forced to commit the crime because of hunger.
Goodman was among 15 suspects paraded by the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, at the State Police Command Headquarters, in Yenagoa on Monday.
According to the police commissioner, the other suspects were arrested for various related crimes.
Goodman, who said he used to work at the Government House as a drainage cleaner, confessed that he resorted to crime because he had not been paid for five months.
He said, “I don’t want to involve anybody in this. I used to work as a drainage cleaner at the Government House as a casual worker. I’m from Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State; we have not been paid for five months, and I committed the crime because of hunger.”
Addressing journalists, Okoli said: “You may recall that I recently directed divisional police officers and heads of departments to rejig their crime fighting strategy this festive season. This strategy has paid off with the arrest of suspects who specialised in vandalising armoured cables, solar batteries, transformers, and other electrical accessories for streetlights, thereby sabotaging the efforts of the government in ensuring steady power supply to members of the public.
“On December 15 at about 0700hrs, one Sulieman Abdulahi (male), 31 years old; one Samaila (male), 23 years old; one Gazali Shuabu, 18 years old; one Sagir, 25 years old; and one Isa Umar, 23 years old, stole armoured cables and other electrical accessories at Sanni Abacha Express Road. They were arrested by the police and the stolen items were recovered from them. Investigation is ongoing.
“On December 14 at about 0500hrs, one Mr. Bright Ibe (male), 55 years old; Mrs Okechukwu Nwuebike (female) 52 years old and Justice Moses, 20 years old, conspired with others now at large and stole a 25KVA transformer at Gabriel Okara and 50KV (transformer) at Hospital Road. The suspects were caught in the act and the items were recovered.
“On November 17, at about 0500hrs, one Tarilade Okosu, 23 years old, was arrested with a high tension crossbar at Ogbogoro Community, Yenagoa. He confessed that he stole the items from Ayama community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area. All the suspects have confessed to the crime; investigation is ongoing and they will soon be charged to court after investigation are concluded.”