Police Foil In-house Burglary in former President Jonathan’s Port Harcourt Home

…Recover over N100 Million in Jewelry and Cash

The Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has quietly foiled an in-house burglary heist at the Port Harcourt home of the country’s former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and recovered jewelry worth over N100 million, as well as some cash.
TELL reliably gathered that the alleged burglar ran out of luck on September 20, 2022, when an eagle-eyed Police Inspector, Ugwuodo Zebedee, of the Special Protection Unit Base 19, Rivers State, on duty at the former President’s house at the Government Residential Area, GRA, intercepted a domestic worker who attempted to smuggle the high profile jewelries out of the compound. This opened a can of worms, which had been quietly and serially eating away the treasures of former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
A cleaner, who also doubles as launderer and a gardener, had closed work and was leaving about 4.00pm. He had a black bag slung on his back and was heading for the exit gate. He appeared to be avoiding the policeman on duty. The policeman called him and reminded him that as a rule, he should not slip out of the gate as all bags were subject to stop-and-search.
He was consequently asked to submit the bag for search. Acting suspiciously, he cleverly dropped the bag aside before submitting himself for the search. The Police Inspector ordered him to go and bring the bag while keeping an eye on him. He was said to have wasted time before coming back with the bag. Instinctively, the policeman suspected he may have shoved off some contents of the bag, and asked him to go and bring the items he dropped. The suspect complied, and brought some items. He was ordered to go back again and bring the remaining ones. Once again, he complied and brought more items. At this point, the policeman followed him to the security room and confirmed there were no more items remaining.
He was then ordered to empty all the items in the bag on the ground. The following items were found: One bottle of Johnny Walker whiskey, a leather bag containing different dimensions of gold jewelries; a small black purse containing another set of gold jewelries, a point of sale, POS machine; cash in N500 notes wrapped with rubber bands.
On interrogation, the cleaner claimed the items were way-billed to him from Lagos by a friend who owed him N50, 000. According to him, the alleged sender had asked him to market the items and balance him his N50, 000. The policeman did not fall for that tale.
He was asked to produce the receipt of the way-bill in his name as receiver, and the name of the driver who brought them from Lagos to Port Harcourt so that his claims could be confirmed. He replied that he did not have the driver’s telephone number. “Then how did you get the parcel without the driver’s number?” he was asked. He further claimed that the sender called the driver who came out at their luxury bus motor park at Emenike Street in Diobu, Port Harcourt, and handed over the parcel to him.
But the Inspector could not be beaten by these clever lies. He demanded for the number of the sender who called the driver from Lagos so he could call him and confirm the consignment directly. He could not provide the sender’s number. The officer then put it to him at this point that he strongly suspected the items belong to Dame Patience Jonathan.
But the cleaner was not done at his game yet. He said he knew the jewelries were fake ones; that Mrs. Jonathan could not wear this kind of cheap jewelries. On the whiskey, he said he picked it from the former First Lady’s house. On the POS machine found on him, he claimed he was into POS business.
The police officer insisted that the suspect would not be allowed to leave the compound until the family members of Mrs. Jonathan had been contacted and confirmed that the items were not her property.
The suspect was asked if the lady who engaged him for the Jonathans was aware of his alleged business. He said ‘No.’ The lady is the caretaker of the compound to whom Mrs. Jonathan entrusted some of the keys to the buildings. At this point, he knew the game was up and offered to bribe the policeman with some of the looted items, which were turned down.
The suspect called the superior officer, SUPOL, in charge of the compound to report that he had been arrested. The Inspector however informed the senior officer on the phone that he arrested the suspect because of the magnitude of what he was carrying. He was also informed how the suspect had been trying to bribe the Inspector. The SUPOL shortly arrived the scene and was shocked at what he saw. He said the items belonged to Mrs. Jonathan, and ordered them returned to the house.
Further interrogating the suspect, the police officers demanded again the sender’s number. The suspect played another trick. He called an unknown person and told the person, “Please ooh Bros, come and tell Police here that these jewelries belong to you to save me from their hands.”
He was later allowed to go home without the items.
The next day, the suspect came with someone to claim the items. The policemen arrested him, and on further questioning, he admitted that he stole them from Mrs. Jonathan’s house. When the police searched his house with a warrant, they found to their surprise that all the items he had in his house belong to Mrs. Jonathan. More gold jewelries and other items were recovered.
The Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of GRA Police Station asked him how he was able to move all the properties from the house. He revealed that he moved them in the night using the dustbin. He explained that whenever Mrs. Jonathan came home, he was the sole person who removed the dustbin. Whatever he stole, he dumped in the dustbin.
The sum of N1million was also recovered, which was proceeds of a gold bangle he sold to ‘Aboki’ at Rumuola. Those who have an idea of the market value of gold jewelries said that the Aboki cheated him as the bangle was worth about N7million.
The official value of the items recovered was put at N100million; but those in the jewelries trade whom TELL showed the pictures, said the jewelries were grossly undervalued.
Four people were arrested in connection with the burglary, and are facing trial. They are being detained at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre awaiting sentencing.
Confirming the incident, the Rivers State Police command said it was another good story from the Nigeria Police Force, adding that it would surely have rubbished the image of the Police had the thief and his accomplices gotten away with this heist.
Some respondents expressed the hope that the officer who arrested the thief would be adequately compensated to encourage more personnel to toe the path of righteousness. It was gathered that the value of the jewelries offered to compromise him was about N50 million. They believed that without adequate reward for his integrity and professionalism, he may appear foolish in the eyes of the public and his colleagues.

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