40-year-old Alfred Andrew, became a millionaire overnight, after stealing a stack of foreign currency from his boss identified as Benedict Emmanuel.
Emmanuel, a businessman who lives at the Gwarimpa housing estate in Abuja, was away from the house when his security guard, Andrew, started the gradual process of stealing his money.
Andrew who hails from Bauchi state, is a Mass Communication and Information Technology graduate who enrolled in a theology school after staying jobless for years, and eventually became a pastor.
Andrew moved to Abuja from Plateau state in 2014, where he was hired by Emmanuel and was earning N25,000 monthly as a security guard.
Narrating how he started stealing from his boss, Andrew said:
“That day, I was sweeping when I saw a key on the floor. I tried it on the padlock on my boss’ apartment and it opened. I went inside the house and was searching through his belongings when something fell on me from the top of his wardrobe.
I then realised it was foreign currency. I climbed on a chair to see what was on the top of the wardrobe and noticed that there were currencies from different countries. They were so much. That was the first time I would see so much dollars. I have only seen such large amount in movies.
I was tempted to take the money. Before, I had been hearing of whistleblowers but I was not sure who to contact. I didn’t know who to report to. I didn’t have the number of the whistleblowers (sic). I was scared. I didn’t know who to trust in Nigeria. I might tell someone and the person may turn things around against me.”
He resorted to taking money from the room whenever his boss left the house. He also decided to count the amount of money his oga had on the wardrobe. He said:
“I confirmed from someone the amount in the bundles. He said it was N130m after it was converted. I didn’t touch that one because it was sealed. I was only taking from those bundles.”
He continued stealing the cash for over a month, and his boss kept bringing home more money, and so didn’t notice that he had taken some out of it. He kept checking to see if the money had increased or decreased.
“If you just pulled a small amount, by the time you count it, there might be more than thirty dollar notes.”
After a while, Andrew decided to go big, he stole a large sum and deposited same into his bank account. He said:
“I took some amount and converted it to N24.4m and put it in my account.”
In typical ‘everyday is for the thief and one day is for the owner of the house’ fashion, Emmanuel eventually discovered that part of his money was missing.
He began to suspect Andrew after discovering that he was using an iPhone7 and wearing expensive clothes, even though he was supposed to be earning just N25,000.
He ordered for Andrew’s room to be searched, and after finding designer clothes in there, ordered his arrest through the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team.
Andrew confessed to stealing the money and owning N24million in his account, and also revealed he had rented an apartment in town and spent lavishly on his girlfriend.
“I bought clothes and mobile phones. I was not even able to wear any of the clothes because I bought them recently. Part of the money I had recently changed to naira was in my bag when I was searched.
Last Friday when my boss discovered the cash missing, he ordered that nobody should go out of the compound and started searching everybody. His sister who is an official with the Department of State Services came also and checked my phone and bags.
They took my passport, ATM cards and everything I had before handing me over to SARS. I told my oga I would implicate him by reporting him to EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission). He said he had been good to me, but I told him his wife had not given me food over the last three years. It is part of the reasons why I did what I did.
Even when I was employed, I was told my salary would be increased every four months. I was told I would also be fed but that promise was not kept. My boss said the money was not his.”