A 31-year-old radio presenter, Muyide Samuel, has lamented the loss of his Toyota Camry 2003 model to a car dealer, Odofin Olatunji, who claimed to be an in-law to a Lagos Divisional Police Officer.
The Ibadan, Oyo State-based presenter said the car, which he bought from Olatunji, developed mechanical faults a few days after he paid for it.
He explained that the car dealer asked him to return the Camry to Igando, Lagos State, for repair.
The victim said since he returned the car on September 8, he had been receiving threats from Olatunji, who claimed to be connected to a powerful DPO in the state.
Samuel, who fought back tears while speaking with Punch Metro, said despite reporting the case at the Okota, Adeniji Adele and Igando police divisions, the suspect had been intractable.
He said, “I saw the advert post for the Toyota Camry on a social marketing website, Olx, and I got in touch with the car dealer. We negotiated and agreed for N760,000. I travelled down to Igando and paid for the car. I had to spend additional N170,000 to change the shock absorbers, tyres, and other things.
“Within a few days, I observed that it had some mechanical faults. I contacted the man and he said I should return it for repairs. He said if the problem persisted, he would give me a new car, for which I may have to add N70,000. I bought the car on September 4 and he took it back on September 8.”
The victim said since he returned to Ibadan, he had only been having telephone conversations with the dealer, who kept promising to return the car.
Samuel said he later discovered that the suspect had resold the car to a co-dealer, adding that when he confronted Olatunji, the dealer ignored him.
“He was telling me the DPO in the area was his in-law and if I reported him to the police, he would not spend more than 10 minutes at the station. He said at best, he would be asked to refund my money and he would be paying me N5,000 till he completed it.
“I came down to Lagos to report at the Okota Police Station. When he was invited, he didn’t honour the invitation. The policemen went to his two houses without finding him. Later, somebody told me that the man had a case at the Adeniji Adele Police Station. But by the time I got there, he had been released. I was asked to pay N40,000 for the police to open a file on him. After I did that, they demanded additional N50,000 for mobilisation to arrest him. I didn’t go back there.
“I went to Igando and someone introduced me to a policeman called officer Yusuf. When the officer called him, he refused to answer until the DPO called him. After taking his statement, the DPO said the offence was bailable. He was about to release him when I protested. I told the DPO that the man had already said he would not spend up to 10 minutes at the station because he was his in-law,” Samuel added.
The DPO was said to have ordered the Investigating Police Officer to follow Samuel and the suspect to the co-dealer’s place to reclaim the car the following day.
Punch Metro learnt that when they got to the co-dealer’s office, he had travelled.
When the group returned to the station, Samuel said the suspect promised to get him a Toyota Camry 2001 model as replacement if he could add N100,000, an offer he said he rejected because he didn’t have the money.
He said Olatunji later agreed to get him another car before Sunday.
“I have been on this issue for about three months now. I am tired of life. This is all my investment in 2017. He knew I had put the car in good shape and that was why he took it from me to resell. I am begging Nigerians, the police and the government to help me retrieve my car,” he added.
Olatunji told Punch Metro that he was making efforts to get the victim another car.
“By the grace of God, before the end of this week, you will receive good news. Some people are already mediating in the case. We found another Toyota Camry, which we intend to use to replace it; we are about buying it from someone. We have been on this matter since Monday and I have also not rested. There is no lie in what he told you. We are the ones that need to make amends,” he added.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the police were investigating the matter.
He said, “The complainant came to report that he bought a car from the dealer and after a couple of months he had some problems with it. He then returned the vehicle without saying anything, maybe due to some disagreements.
“After some months, the car dealer resold the car and used the money for other things. The man then started demanding his car and reported to the police. We arrested the suspect. It was agreed that within a certain time he would get back the vehicle for him or replace it. They are supposed to meet on Sunday. Since it’s a bailable offence, the suspect has been put on bail and advised to act according to his undertaking. Hopefully, he will redeem his pledge.”