My pastor encouraged me to market stolen car— suspect
A robbery suspect, Olawale Olabinwonu, has been arrested in Lagos state while attempting to sell a stolen vehicle. The vehicle, a Nissan Sentra, 2015 model, whose number plate was changed, was reportedly placed on an online shopping platform, where it was advertised for sale.
Olabinwonu, an administrative officer of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Igbogbo, Ikorodu, was arrested by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad at the weekend.
The police had reportedly been investigating the stolen car until they saw it on the advert page and called the contact on the website to indicate interest.
The custodian of the shopping website was called and he denied ownership of the car and subsequently led detectives to Olabinwonu’s residence.
Olabinwonu was reported to have packed out of the house with his family after sensing danger.
He was, however, tracked to a church in the area where he was arrested.
According to the police, the vehicle, which is owned by a bank, was stolen at gunpoint when some robbers attacked a hotel in the Iju-Ishaga area where the manager of the bank lodged.
The robbers were said to have made away with the car along with other valuables of the banker.
Confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, SP Dolapo Badmos, said efforts were on to get Abbey.
The PPRO said, “The suspect has been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad for further investigations.
In his statement to the police, the suspect said the car was given to him by a friend he identified as Ahmed Abbey, who asked him to find a buyer for it, noting that he consulted his pastor twice, who assured him that nothing would go wrong and he could go ahead with the sale.
Olabinwonu said, “I met Abbey at Dammy Jay Hotel, Ikorodu. He came to my table, bought drinks for everyone and we became friends. While I was going home, he gave me N2, 000.
“Later that week, I saw Abbey and asked him if he could help me with some money because I had no job. He asked if I could help his sister, who was travelling overseas, to sell her car.
“I consulted my pastor and he told me to collect the car from him. I took the car from him, but after about three weeks and I couldn’t get a buyer, he took the car from me and some weeks later, I saw him with the car and he challenged me that I didn’t want to sell the car. After a while, we agreed that I should try again.
“I consulted my pastor again for him to pray about it. This time, my pastor introduced me to someone in Lekki, who had a car park at a very conspicuous place, where we could put the car for sale. The car was there when I learnt that it was stolen at gunpoint.
“Since I was arrested, my friend’s phone has been switched off,” the suspect lamented.