THE POWER OF CCTV CAMERAS

Image culled from Wikipedia

It is no longer a secret that the power of CCTV cameras caught the disgraced Nollywood actor, Baba Ijesha while sexually assaulting the 14-year-old girl in LAGOS.

Let me quickly talk about how CCTV cameras miraculously saved me from police arrest and prosecution in London about 10 years ago. I would have been convicted of theft and obstruction of justice. That’s a permanent criminal record on my file forever! I may not be able to work in some high-profile offices in the United Kingdom. Aye o ni mu gbogbo wa ooooo!

I was employed as a night security guard(part-time) in one College in London(A-Level school, also known as Sixth Form School). I must resume work at 7pm and finish at 7am the next day morning. 12 hours all night!

It was a big college, I had to be patrolling the whole building every 30 minutes, no time to even close my eyes. The CCTV cameras monitored and recorded all my movements on a regular basis.

My manager(English man) now informed me that the College just bought about new 100 Apple MacBook computers for the students and the hall must be properly guarded all night by only me. Nothing happened in the first week but in the second week, a tragedy happened, armed robbers invaded the College early morning, probably around 2.20am to steal all the computers. I was the first suspect as the only security man on site.

Meanwhile on the day of the incident, one of the College teachers(a Polish man) suddenly returned to the site around 8pm, he claimed he forgot his house keys in the office, the College already closed around 5pm.
He was a familiar face, I saw him parking his car and I opened the main gate for him to come into the College.

This same Polish guy often stayed longer in the school and he once invited his girlfriend to visit him after school hours for “Collabo” runz. I once saw them in his car during my patrol as a security officer. That drama is not important for this story. Thank you!

To be honest, it was during one of the coldest winters in England and I was so tired to patrol the whole compound, probably slept (on duty!) because CCTV cameras did not record my movement from 1.30am up till 4.am.

I was just on patrol around 5.30am and I noticed 2 damaged doors and I looked through to discover that all the 100 MacBook computers had developed legs and escaped from the College Computer Laboratory.
Ojo buruku Eshu gba ice-cream! Temi ba mi ooo. Akoba nla ni eleyi ooo. Aye o ni mu gbogbo wa ooo. Wetin I go tell my Oyinbo Manager? Wetin I go tell the College Headteacher? Aye mi oo..I begin to piss small small inside my underwear! Aye mojuba oooo.I messed up ooooo. Fear catch me that time. I swear to God.

Mama Gani was still alive then in Abeokuta, I quickly called her from London.

“Alhaja mi, wahala ti de oooo. Na police wahala in London. Please wake up now…very urgent.”

“Kilode Gani, what happened again?” my mother was shocked.

I explained everything to her and she only said, “If your hands are 100 % clean, Nothing to fear. Your company will never take you to court. Police will not arrest you. Don’t fear anything. Please remain calm.”

As a licensed security officer, I had to dial 999 on my mobile phone to report the break-in burglary incident to the London Metropolitan Police. Trust British police officers, they arrived in under 5 minutes to check the entire College, even with dogs!

British Police, I salute you any day! Iba ooooo! Among the Yoruba people in London, Ibeji(Twins) is a nickname for the British Police officers.

I once advised the College management to install an alarm inside the Computer laboratory, in case of any movement or unlawful entry, it would trigger to alert me.
To my surprise, I was rudely told not to worry, and that was why I was employed as a nightguard to protect the computers and no need to spend money on the alarm system.

This College with a large compound of rabbits, strange birds, antelopes, and foxes. They roamed freely in the compound at night. I cannot touch or kill them. That’s a crime against animal kingdom….automatic prison! They all belong to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of England.

I did not want to show any panic facial expression, I took the police officers to the crime scene. They asked for my full name, date of birth, country of origin, and London home address. One officer recorded everything and told me to sign. I signed without any objection.

My Security company was so angry with me, I was suspended for 3 weeks without pay, pending the outcome of the investigation. It was like I disgraced the company in the eyes of the client( College management)! NOT FUNNY AT ALL!

My constant fear that time was I did not want British Police to hand-cuff me, and arrest me in my house for allegations of theft. My late sweet mother(Alhaja mi) confidently reassured me that “Ofo ni ojo keji oja.” Perfect peace for First Class ABIYAMO.

To cut the long story short, British Police requested the CCTV footage of the Sixth Form College from 7pm until 6am. They studied every detail from A to Z and they discovered that I did not steal the computers but one of the teachers invited 3 other suspects to cart away all the computers in a van.

The CCTV cameras recorded the van registration number and the robbers used masks to cover faces but they were later arrested and prosecuted. FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST!

Back to Baba Ijesha’s story, CCTV cameras caught him red-handed as a serial child molester. He has also confessed, regretted, and apologised for his crimes against humanity. The court of law shall determine the next steps, not social media commentators.

In my own case, I will never forget how London College CCTV cameras protected me against racism, miscarriage of justice in a foreign land and also prevented me from going to Mama Charlie’s prison to eat sandwiches, burgers, baked beans, and potatoes as an innocent African man. OLUWA SEUN OOOOO!!! End of story!

@Dare LASISI writes from Glasgow, Scotland.

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