The Pilfered Phone: The Terrifying Consequences of Unlawful Ownership

By Oluwatoyin Hawal Momolosho 

In this digital age, if you haven't learned how to acquire anything through buying or selling, you are likely to learn the hard way.

Around 2022, he purchased the Tecno Pop 3 from a neighbor. When asked where he got the phone, he continued to point at the seller. Because the person who sold the phone to him was well-known, no one remembered the incident, and he was able to use the phone without experiencing any major issues.

When the phone eventually started having issues, he claimed that the battery was the only problem, disregarding any other possibilities. However, one of his brothers responded by asking how he could have such a large sum of money and only consider buying a used phone, without considering anything else at all. Even if a brand-new one could be purchased for the same price, it might be smaller than the one you are holding. It is always advisable to be well-informed before making any purchase because life can be scarier than you anticipate.

Moreover, his brother shared a story about a friend of his who bought a stolen phone. After bringing the phone home, he performed necessary tasks such as changing the battery and screen. However, in the end, he was arrested because the police later found him and claimed that the phone was stolen.  He became disoriented and looked for the person who had sold it to him, but that person was not there. Because of this, he was forced to stay in the station for nearly a week until his parents were able to obtain the funds necessary to both free him and compensate him for the stolen phone, of which he was unaware. At the time, he was ill-mannered and well-informed when we spoke to him, but when the dust settled, he had to learn the hard way, without even involving us (his friends). It would be better if someone could get him a new phone or nothing at all, rather than advertising any used phones in London to him at this time. He has been behaving like a learned person, which is how he should have been acting earlier, but he neglected it; now, he has acknowledged it.

Police Make Arrest Requests

He actually had a ceremony in August that required him to spend a lot of money, so he sold the phone and didn't buy anything; he was just utilizing what he had. To some degree, when I was unable to reach him, I went to his house and gave him my little phone so that he could use it to receive calls. If they wanted to give him something, it would be simpler for him, and he was extremely grateful that I did, which is why we were friends.

As you are all aware, a man needs to work and eat in order to survive, on October 24, 2023, I was actually outside the city. He said, "Brother, I've been at the police station since the morning." Though it had nothing to do with what we had discussed, I couldn't help but think that he had gone there for a reason that I needed to know.  He needed a man to save him, so I told him I was currently outside the city and pleaded with him to call for help. I did make some calls to get him out or go ahead and get his bail, but ironically, the guy who sold him the phone followed them to the police station, he had been released from custody on that day.

Nevertheless, someone who sincerely sought to rescue him was selected as a victim. He told them that he bought the phone from his friends in order to get cleaned up, but they didn't accept that and instead kept him in their office till the following day. In the maintime, I had to leave the city where I was working in order to help both of them out of the shit, but eventually, Peace was restored.

Police had been pursuing the person who had sold my friend the phone to the person who had sold it to him when I arrived as well. Although it took them a while to get there, they eventually took the person Into Custody . He had been charged with stealing the phone, but he insisted that the person who sold it to him actually lived in Lagos. Before searching for the person who sold him the phone, police first collected fifty thousand naira from his parents as payment. If police officers want to work diligently, they can, as evidenced by their cases handling, which give the impression that there is just one powerful figure involved. Everything went smoothly after the suspect was arrested and they released the two individuals from my side. However, the community had heard about their history of being detained by the police both there and elsewhere without even knowing why they had been detained. Mouth really moves more quickly than the leg.

Comments from Parents 

When we got home and told my friend's parents about the incident, their first reaction was, "Wouldn't I tell you not to bought a second phone again?" Despite the fact that they had no idea of what was going on, they assumed he had taken a step working without telling them. The phrase "the little you have will work for the little you get" was frequently used, but you preferred to use the vehicle that was more expensive and in which the police would be looking for you everywhere rather than the one that was within your means. 

My son, you knew that I had nothing, so don't let the stolen phone ruin your reputation in the community. People will only know that you were arrested, and they won't bother to find out if the accusations were true or not. Instead, they will  say things that are untrue and lies to damage someone's reputation. Be cautious and aware of who you are. Purchase the new one that is yours, and neglect the used one that is either stolen or owned by someone else. Maintain your lane! 

Oluwatoyin Hawal Momolosho is a creative writer, budding Journalist, and community developer.

Adekunle Famuyiwa

An avid writer, campus Journalist, researcher and budding Lawyer. Currently a 500-level student of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun state, and the Editor-In-Chief of Observers Mag

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