Many Nigerians would have thought that filmmaker, Seun Egbegbe, was perhaps, directing a movie when the news and pictures hit the internet that he was beaten for absconding with nine iphones at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos.
Although Egbegbe has denied the story describing it as “laughable and better left in the court of public opinion”, Investigation revealed otherwise.
The shop, Kaaltech Innovations, has been under lock and key since the incident but when newsmen spoke to the owner of the shop, Kolawole Aleshinloye on telephone, he said he was out of town but the matter was with the police.
“At this point, I am out of town and I told them to lock my store. I came around yesterday and witnessed everything. I put down my statement at Area F Police Command. The case is with the police. I told them to lock my store because my boy was wounded and he is currently at the hospital. My secretary has gone to the police station upon invitation. Anything you want, just go to Area F police command and ask for the IPO in charge.
“My boy was injured because he was being dragged by the car when they were trying to get away with the phones. The guy has written his statement and there is a formal petition from the Nigerian Police. The guy (Egbegbe) had never come to buy anything from my store before now and I don’t know him. I did not see him because I was not at the office but my staff attended to him. They were the one that took him to the police station. I just showed up at the police station but I am not an eye witness.
“I have never been involved in a robbery or theft case and sincerely I don’t know what to do and that is why the police is handling everything. I don’t have the time to handle this type of case. As I speak with you, I am about travelling out of the country. I missed my flight yesterday because of this issue. I was on my way to the airport when this incident happened so if there is anything I need to do, my lawyers would handle the matter. We have an association in Computer Village; Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria; the members of the association were the ones that took him to the police station.”
But then, a shop owner who identified himself as Onyeka, said he witnessed what happened since his shop is directly opposite the scene of the incident.
Onyeka described Egbegbe as a ‘bloody liar’ for denying that he was involved in the theft.
“I was around when it happened and the man cannot deny it. It happened and the man stole the phones. If it did not happen, why did he have a bloodied mouth? Those guys outside were the ones that beat him but they did not beat him up to stupor, they just ‘touched him small’. At about 11am, the man came to the store claiming that he wanted to buy some phones. He had spoken to the sales girl but all of a sudden, he told them to pack the phones for him and that he would give them the money in his vehicle. As he got to his vehicle, he put the phones in the car and instead of him to bring out the money; he entered the vehicle which was already in motion. He was not alone in the car.
“The sales rep had to raise the alarm that the man was leaving with the goods. An SUV that was in front of his car had to stop to ensure that he did not run away with the phones and that was how they caught up with him and those with him in the vehicle. If the SUV was not there, they would have absconded with the phones because the road was very free. He was already inside the car and the car was in motion. I think there were about two other people in the car with him. The vehicle was in motion and ready to zoom off, yet he claimed that he wanted to give someone money. The police came around and he was handed over to them,” Onyeka said.
Another shop owner who didn’t want his name in print, insisted he saw how Egbegbe rushed to his car with the phones and would have zoomed off.
“This guy is a liar. So is he saying he had over N2m in his car and he was going to bring the money from the car? Why didn’t he bring the money when he entered the shop or even tell the shop attendant to hold the phones while he got the money? The guy really wanted to outsmart the shop attendant but his luck ran out. That way why we beat him silly,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a release he pushed out after the incident, Egbegbe said, “To say the least, the news did not only grossly misinform unsuspecting public; it also portrays traces of campaign of calumny by some mercenary hirelings hell bent on destroying my name, for reasons best known to them.
“Having read with keen interest the completely self-serving spirited attempt to destroy my person, it has become imperative and timely that a rejoinder is written to state the fact clearly. 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 7, as stated by the writer of the story, the matter has since been resolved by the Nigeria Police; and the issue of me stealing phone is devilish.”
It was also learnt that Egbegbe was arrainged on Thursday at a the Magistrate Court in Ikeja on a one count charge of theft but he has since met his one million naira bail condition. His publicist further emphasised that Egbegbe is not in prison but resting somewhere in Ikeja, Lagos.