Engr. Chibisi Nwabeze, a shop owner, at ANON Plaza Gudu, Abuja has accused three guards and employees of Nocturnus Security Limited of being complicit in the theft of his ThermoCool generator by yet-to-be-identified persons in the plaza, according to SaharaReporters.
He also dragged the security company before a magistrate’s court sitting in Kabusa on the offence bordering on criminal negligence and conspiracy.
The incident happened between Friday, April 15 and Monday, April 18, 2022, during the holiday declared by the Nigerian government to mark this year’s Easter celebrations.
The generator was said to have ‘disappeared’ even though three security guards were on duty.
Chibisi said he was miffed by the negligence of the three officers and the reaction of the security company charged with the responsibility of providing security in the plaza when he demanded an explanation on how only his generator was missing in the plaza.
The security company allegedly claimed that they were not liable and could not be held responsible for the stolen generator.
The company through its manager, Mr. Joseph maintained that though they were entrusted with the security of the plaza, they would not take any responsibility for the theft because there was no power supply at the plaza for the CCTV cameras to capture the perpetrators.
Chibisi who is also the Executive Director of Leadership and Accountability Initiative said he got to know that his generator was missing from the premises upon resuming work after the Easter holiday on Tuesday, April 19.
He said the situation compelled him to question the security company about how the thieves managed to gain access to the plaza without the knowledge of the guards on duty.
He alleged that the security company was unwilling to produce the three guards who were on duty on the day the incident occurred until the matter was formally reported at Apo Police Station.
The three security guards were invited by the police and granted administrative bail.
It was learnt that they were later charged to court for criminal negligence and conspiracy on Monday, June 20, 2022, but the case could not go on due to the absence of one of them.
Chibisi while narrating the story to SaharaReporters said, "When we came back from Easter holiday, we asked the security company and the manager told us that they don't know who stole it because there was no electricity and that the CCTV could not capture the person.
“Look at the proximity of the generator to the gate. There is supposed to be a security company manning the gate which means every day there must be a security guard at this gate. There is no way you can come here and carry a big generator without somebody at the gate to help you.
“It is either the security company stole it or they have hand in the stealing of the generator.
"I gave them one week to provide my generator but from their body language, it was obvious that they were not ready for settlement because they insisted that they were not liable.
"We reported the matter at Apo Police Station and the police took over the case. They invited the security company and we asked our company lawyer to meet with them.
"So on Monday, June 20, the police charged them to court but unfortunately the case could not come up because one of them was absent.”
Meanwhile, when SaharaReporters contacted the Managing Director of the security company, Akpos Dick, he said he had reached out to Chibisi on the need to resolve the matter amicably without necessarily going to court but he turned down his suggestion.
He also insisted that the company was not liable in line with the contract they signed with the management of ANON Plaza, noting that they were ready to pursue the case in the court to a logical conclusion.
He said, "Well I called him on the phone for us to resolve this matter amicably and for us not to drag it beyond necessary. But he insisted on going to court. Even the management of the Plaza who we have a contract with offered him a generator but he refused.
"I am a gentleman and I am ready to sit down with him and settle this matter. Three of our officers were arrested and our lawyer went there to bail them. We are not liable and wherever he wants to go, we will go with him."
SaharaReporters learnt that a woman who has a restaurant in the plaza also had a similar experience some time ago. Her shop was burgled and her goods were carted away.