20-year-old Uweb Samuel, a Cross River State indigene working as a domestic help in Magodo area of Lagos, sat on the grounds of the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, with his head bowed. Shaking his head intermittently to register remorse, Uweb said he did not imagine he would end up the way he had.
“My boss trusted me so much. In fact, I had access to every part of the house,” he said.
But that trust came back to bite his boss, Mr. Ajadi Babatunde, few days ago when he came back from a trip abroad and left a wad of pound sterling notes in his room. Saturday PUNCH learnt that he trusted his manservant so much that he left the house but left his key on the door of his room…
That day, Babatunde took a peek inside the room and saw something he could not resist.
“I counted the £50 notes and there were 67 there,” he said.
That is £3,350. In current official exchange rate of pounds to naira, that amounts to N1.33m.Samuel said he knew it was a lot of money that could change his life, but thought about building a house immediately.
He said, “There is no house in our village in Calabar that my siblings and I could call a home. So, I thought it was my chance to build a house for my family.
“I took the money before my boss came back home and took it to my sister’s husband to hide for me.
“When my boss came back and started to look for the money, he asked me and I told him I did not see any money. Even though it was just the two of us in the house, I insisted I did not take any money.
“Some workers were doing some renovation work in the compound. He asked if any of them entered the house but they said no. The workers said I must have been the one who took the money and started to beat me.
“They tortured me even though my boss did not instruct them to do that. I still did not admit that I took it. But when it got to a stage, I told them I would kill myself, my boss then told them to take me to the police. But his brother came and spoke with me gently, that was why I decided to confess.”
By the time the police stormed the house of Samuel’s brother-in-law, half of the money was gone, while the man had gone into hiding. Samuel sobbed as he said he was sad that he betrayed his boss’ trust.
According to him, he was being paid N15,000 monthly as a domestic help but that his crime had nothing to do with his salary.
“I wish my boss would forgive me. I did not know this is what will happen to me,” he said.
The police have said investigation was ongoing on the case and the suspect would soon be charged to court.