A lady, Franca Amaha, who stole her employer’s foreign currencies six hours after she was employed at Masha area of Surulere, Lagos State, has claimed that she stole the money to help her sick mother. The 26-year-old lady, who confessed that she deliberately sought a housekeeping work in order to steal, added that after pilfering the money she changed some to naira, fixed her hair and banked the rest. This was even as she claimed: “I stole the money because I got a call from my village that my mother was sick. Please help me to beg my boss to forgive me.”
Preliminary investigations showed that Amaha was once the housemaid of former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro’s wife. Determined to carry out her plan to the letter, Amaha sought the employment through an agency, where she filled out fake names, home address and used a fake guarantor. After stealing the foreign currencies totally N1.6m, Amaha disappeared into thin air. All efforts to locate her proved abortive. The woman, who employed Amaha, identified as Mrs. Taiye, got tired of running from pillar to post, searching for Amaha, petitioned the Inspector- General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu.
The suspect was finally arrested by operatives of the IGP’s Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari. A team from the IRT Lagos office was said to have been deployed to find her. She was found in her friend’s apartment at the Ajah/ Lekki area of the state. Amaha’s grand plan started on July 24, which was the day she went to the employment agency, seeking job as a house help. On July 25, she was called for employment with Taiye, residing in the Masha area of Surulere, Lagos State.
Two hours into her new job, Amaha followed her mistress to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, to pick her madam’s sister. Taiye’s sister was returning to Nigeria from overseas. A few minutes after they arrived from airport, while the sisters were in the sitting-room catching their breath, Amaha sneaked into the room where her madam’s sister’s luggage was kept and stole $2800, 1000 British Pounds and 2000 Dutch Guilder. She then disappeared into the air. A police officer, who took part in the operation, said: “The suspect was formerly working with the wife of former IGP, Mike Okiro.
She ran away, only to show up again in Lagos. She went to an agent and told the agent that she needed a job as a house help. She went to the agent on July 24 and was asked to fill a form. She was also asked to get a guarantor. It turned out that everything she filled out in the form was a fake. “She also gave a fake name to the agent. She identified herself as Esther, instead of Franca. On July 25th, the following day, she was taken to the house of Mrs. Taiye, at Masha Surulere, to work. She was offered N20, 000 as her monthly salary. Incidentally, Taiye’s sister was returning that same day from oversea.
The suspect followed her new boss to the airport. When they got home, the suspect entered into the room where her boss’s sister’s bags were kept and opened one of them. She stole all the foreign currencies in the bag and left instantly.
“The security guard at the gate tried to stop her, but she lied that she had issues with her madam and had been asked to leave. The guard asked her to wait, so that he could confirm from her madam, but before the man came out, she had mounted a motorcycle and disappeared. She threw away her SIM cards and ran to Ajah/Lekki to stay with one of her friends. The next day, which was on July 26, she went to Ikoyi and changed some of the foreign currencies to naira.” While fielding questions from operatives and journalists, Amaha explained that she came to Lagos in 2014 and worked with Mrs Tina Okiro. According to her, she got the job with Mrs. Okiro through an agent called Mr. Sunday. Amaha recounted: “Mrs. Okiro paid me N20, 000 monthly.
She enrolled me into Lagos State Polytechnic Isolo and paid school fees. But after I had stayed with her for two and a half years, she started complaining that I was keeping late hours at school. She said that I was no longer performing my domestic chores.
It was because she was complaining too much that I left. “I went into the streets and started doing prostitution. When my brothers heard, they asked me to return home. I returned to our village and also went to Onitsha to spend some time with my brothers. I came back to Lagos and worked with a woman in Ikorodu as a house help. I worked for three months, and then went back to my village to do farming. “I later came back again to Lagos to look for a job to raise money.
I approached Mr. Frank, who is a job agent. He led me to Mr. Ade, who linked me to the woman in Surulere. Before I started working for the woman, she told me about herself and advised me on how to work for her. She said that my salary would be paid through my agent. I gave her fake name and address because I had the intention of stealing from her.
“I got to the woman’s house about 12 noon and went to airport at 3:30pm to pick her sister. We moved the woman’s entire luggage into the room. I opened one of them and took money from it. I stole six pieces of $100, five pieces of 20 pounds, five pieces of $20 totalling $700 and 100 pounds. I changed $100 and made my hair with it and bought new slippers. I deposited the remaining money into my account.”