The embattled film-maker, Oluwaseun Olasunkami (aka Seun Egbegbe), who was accused of stealing nine iPhones at a shop in the Computer Village, Lagos, was brought before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
He was arraigned on one count of stealing before a Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Y.O. Aje-Afunwa
A mob had beaten up Egbegbe on Tuesday after he allegedly tried to escape in a jeep with the iPhones.
It was gathered that after signifying his intention to buy the phones, the film-maker, reportedly told a sales boy in the shop that he wanted to pick money from his vehicle outside.
He allegedly attempted to escape with the phones in the waiting jeep, which reportedly conveyed three other persons, when the sales boy raised the alarm.
He was subsequently apprehended, beaten up and handed over to the police and detained at the Area F Command Headquarters in Ikeja.
Egbegbe had told the police that he wanted to pick the money from his vehicle when the sales boy screamed and alerted the mob.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, which was credited to Egbegbe, he stated that he was neither arrested nor beaten by any mob.
“The story is pretty laughable and better left in the court of public opinion. Ordinarily, I do not want to join issues with the writer of the publication, but I have a responsibility to set the records straight for my fans, friends and foes, in the defence of the truth.
“To say the least, the news did not only grossly misinformed unsuspecting public; it also portrays traces of campaign of calumny by some mercenary bent on destroying my name, for reasons best known to them.
“I want to state here categorically and emphatically that though I was at Computer Village to address some issues, I was never arrested for stealing 10 iphone 7s, as stated by the writer of the story; the matter has since been resolved by the police; and the issue of me stealing phone is devilish from the said writer.
“It is germane to note that I am a charitable, humane, and grass root person, who has exhibited selflessness in communal service, which is a veritable tool for social development.
“Finally, I wish to inform the general public to discard the report. I am presently at home relaxing,” the statement had read.
However, a few hours after the statement went viral, a police source at the command told our correspondent that the suspect was still in custody, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, visited the Area F Command and was briefed on the case.
The police, in the charge preferred against Egbegbe on Thursday, stated that the stolen iPhones were worth N2.4m.
The charge read, “That you, Oluwaseun Olasunkami, on November 22, 2016, at about 9am, at 9, Simbiat Abiola Way, Ikeja, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did steal nine iPhone 6s, valued at N2,400,000, property of one Kaaltex Innovation Consutancy, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 278 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.”
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and elected summary trial.
The presiding magistrate, Aje-Afunwa, admitted him to bail in the sum of N1m with two responsible sureties in like sum.
The magistrate added that the sureties must present evidence of tax clearance and their residential addresses to the court for verification.
The case was adjourned till February 8, 2017, for mention.