A Ghanaian ex-convict has delved into his biggest regret during his stint in robbery in Ghana and beyond, pointing to a victim who was his neighbour in Lagos, Nigeria.
Sharing his life experience in an interview with blogger Zionfelix, Felix recounted how he stole the life savings of his neighbour, a woman, who traded in meat pie.
According to him, the amount totalled N450,000 which is GH¢6,503.72. Though he said he had stolen other belongings during his time as a robber which had much more value than the woman’s, the action haunts him until now.
“I stole a woman’s savings in Lagos. She sold meat pie. It was N450,000. It haunts me until now because I know it affected her trade.”
He started plying his “trade” in larcenies in Ghana and beyond, he told his host and got caught and thumped on several occasions in Ghana.
In all, he plied in 11 African countries including Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone, making him an international one there.
“I crossed borders under the disguise of my business- sale of pen drives and memory cards. I normally went out of Ghana purposely in search of jobs, however, whenever things got undesirable, I took to stealing.”
Once in Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, he recalled stealing a phone belonging to a security man who was sleeping on duty and subsequently selling it to a Ghanaian there. That was while he was in need of money for a trip to Ouagadougou, he said.
He later stole a woman’s purse for more money for the trip, he told Zion.
First outdoor Theft
His first outdoor theft took place at Kejetia during which he got caught for stealing a package of cosmetic products belonging to a trader.
“I went to Kejetia once and found a bunch of cosmetic products packed so I monitored movements around them. When I realised the environment was conducive, I carried them off. As I made my way out, the steward came and called me back. On my return, they started beating me up and alerting people that a thief had been caught. One person poured hot porridge on me. A security man came to my rescue and asked them to take me to the police station. They took me to the Kejetia Police Station. I was freed after no one came to file a complaint against me,” he shared.
He was jailed thrice, he said with the first and second experiences being six months each. The third, said, was his most painful experience lasting three years.
Recalling how that came about, he said, “It was 2018 when I chanced on a bag of watches in the bed of a pickup at Makola Shopping Mall around 6 am and stole them. After selling them in my hood, I took some to Makola to sell and got rounded there.”
At the police station, his case was taken up by the same CID officer who had handled his six-month sentence. In court as well, he met the same judge and prosecutor who ruled the case within minutes, he said.
“I was taken to court and given three years. I was taken to Nsawam Prison but was later transferred to Osamkrom camp prison.”
Delving into what made the long sentence his worst experience, he said, “I now depended on the Ghc1.80p daily feeding fee of the government. Unless an officer took you out on a duty to labour or you served another inmate, you would endure hunger.”
Efforts To Break Free
In a heartfelt revelation, the ex-convict said the urge to step out and steal was preceded by a startle in the middle of the day or at night.
“My mother took me to a different “pastor” for help in breaking free from the vice but they all took our money. I personally visited places to be free to no avail.”
He said the turning point came when he decided and realised that he really needed redemption.