A driver based in Ibadan, Oyo State, Saheed Abioye, also known as Anini, has been arrested by the Anti-Cultism Squad of the Osun State Police Command.
The suspect was reported to be returning home after a failed attempt to steal mobile phones at a church in Osogbo in Osun state when he was caught.
The father of one told City Round when he was paraded at the police headquarters that he had returned to Osogbo from Ibadan, to check on his child, who was living with a relation.
According to him, before he checked on the child, he decided to visit a church in the Alekuwodo area of Osun State, where a vigil was being held, with the intention of stealing the phones of unsuspecting worshippers.
He said, “I got to the church around 10.45pm and sat at the back, waiting for the opportunity to steal mobile phones of people who might want to charge at the back of the church.
“Unfortunately, I was unable to steal anything that fateful day because I slept off as soon as the vigil started and I did not wake up until around 3am.
“By the time I woke up, the vigil had ended and people were already going home, so I left the church premises. I was unable to steal anything.
“When I got to the Alekuwodo area, before Akindeko Market, I saw a police patrol vehicle and some anti-cultism operatives from Dugbe (divisional headquarters, Osogbo). They stopped me and asked what I had on me and I replied that I had my purse and ID card. They searched me and found no incriminating item.
“They later took me back to the church to confirm if truly I was coming from there. When they asked the pastor, he said he did not see me in church, so they took me back to Dugbe Police Station.
“Later, my video was recorded and sent to other stations and some operatives, who had arrested me in the past, identified me as an expert in the theft of phones. I don’t steal cars, motorcycles or any other thing except phones.”
Abioye claimed to have stolen and sold over 18 phones from different parts of the state.
The Osun Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, said the suspect would be arraigned after investigation had been concluded.