There was mild drama yesterday 9th October at Abuja House, the official residence of the outgoing High Commissioner to the UK, Hon Justice George Oguntade. It was learnt that officials of the High Commission visited the residence to conduct an Inventory of Government Assets preparatory to the departure of the High Commissioner from the residence today.
This inventory exercise was necessitated by the fact of past occurrences when Modupe Oguntade shipped various household Government property such such as Grand Piano, Crockery sets , beds, Coolers etc to Lagos without authorization. The Embassy staff overlooked this theft in order not to embarrass the Ambassador who was not aware of it.
This heist was followed by another one involving old expensive antiques furnitures. They were stolen and shipped to Lagos. This time however, it got to the ears of the First Lady Mrs Aisha Buhari and some directors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To avoid a public scandal, Modupe hurriedly shipped the furnitures back to London. This was after giving the excuse that she sent them to Lagos for “repairs”. Yes. “ Repairs”, without the knowledge of anyone at the Embassy.
Yesterday, during the course of the Inventory, Modupe had packed a bunch of expensive Crockery and Pots to take on her journey to Lagos today, when a Cook at the Residence challenged her saying they did not belong to her.
The Cook went further to say that the items she had packed were bought by the Commission as replacement for the ones which she had previously stolen! Modupe in confusion called another domestic staff, hoping that he would cover up for her and confirm her ownership of the items.
We understand that this Staff, simply shook his head in disgust and said “Madam. You are too big for all this” and walked away. Modupe promptly vanished into her room and that was how more Government property was saved from being stolen by this woman. It was a shameful and disgraceful incident witnessed by Embassy officials.
The obvious question is why anyone would steal what she can easily afford and just go into a shop and buy?
With Modupe, it would appear to be a chronic and incurable case of kleptomania. With her, Old habits die hard.
These two domestic deserve National Awards for their bravery and uprightness.