A Nigerian artisan and part-time bus conductor in South-west Lagos, Wale Segun, who was arrested by a local vigilant called Amotekun for allegedly stealing goats in South-west Osun State and taking them to Lagos to sell, tells our correspondent about the criminal escapade
What is your name and what do you do for a living?
My name is Wale Samuel. I am a Lagos-based borehole driller resident in Ketu, Lagos State.
What brought you to Osun State and what led to your arrest by Amotekun?
I came to Osun State with my friend, Segun, who is a commercial bus driver. Segun’s sister bought the bus for him to use for transportation business. I usually follow the bus whenever Segun is bringing passengers from Lagos to Osun. I was arrested by Amotekun for stealing goats.
How and when did you steal the goats?
Whenever we bring passengers from Lagos to Osun State, we steal goats while returning to Lagos. I usually drive the bus whenever we are returning while Segun will be picking goats that we find on our way. At times, I will park the vehicle and also join him in chasing the goats.
How were you able to do this without attracting people’s attention?
We usually carried out the act very early in the morning. We usually left Osogbo between 4:30am and 5am. We were always looking for goats that were sleeping on or by the road and be picking them as we moved along. We stole some goats along the Osogbo-Ibadan Expressway; we stole some from the communities after Gbongan town. We stole them from different places along that route.
Was this something you did regularly?
Can you remember the number of times you stole goats like that?
We have done it on three occasions. It was on the third occasion that we were arrested. We stole 18 goats on the day we were arrested.
So, how many goats did you steal in total during the three operations?
We stole 15 goats the first time, 10 the second time and 18 the third time that we were caught.
How were you caught?
We were caught by Amotekun in Ibadan, Oyo State and they handed us over to Osun Amotekun. They were just suspicious of us when they saw our vehicle. We were two in the vehicle and we had about 18 goats with us.
Whenever you stole those goats, what did you do with them?
We usually gave the animals to Segun’s elder sister in Lagos who would sell them and give us our own share of the proceeds.
How much have you made so far from the sale of those goats?
I don’t know the actual amount because I didn’t follow Segun’s sister to where the animals were sold in Lagos. It was after selling that Segun would send my own share of the money to me. The first time the goats were sold, I was given N50,000. I used the money to buy foodstuffs and other things for my family. I am married with two kids. Times are hard. Due to the rainy season, I don’t get borehole drilling jobs and we need to survive. I regret stealing. I feel like killing myself. Stealing of goats was not my idea. I was just co-opted into it.