#BounceExclusive: Car Thieves In Trouble With LegitCar.ng
Bounce News has established the fact that there are loopholes in the vehicle registration process in Nigeria.
Our readers have also agreed that the situation puts innocent people at risk of buying stolen property while encouraging the business of selling stolen vehicles.
The other day at the Police Force Headquarters in Lagos, it was one Okediran Oluseyi, whose car had been stolen that was left dumbfounded when he could no longer recognize his car.
The beautiful Toyota Camry has been recovered from armed robbers. It used to be another colour with a different number plate but how it turned black overnight gave him chills.
It had been totally transformed and set to be sold to a new owner. They could have easily sold it as a freshly imported car.
He lamented how easy it is in Nigeria to register a stolen vehicle, recalling that the robbers were not even bothered about the possibility of the car having a security device or tracker, an indication of how less important those features are to them.
But the audacity of the car thieves and armed robbers is about to receive a big national blow if the solution we have just discovered can be supported by all agencies involved the police and the FRSC.
While Bounce News was still making efforts to get the FRSC to comment on the loopholes in vehicle registration and their plans to fix it, we came across www.legitcar.ng.
Vincent Okeke, Samuel Ogbujimma and Inimfon Ukpong were friends back in the University of Uyo, and by stroke of fate, found themselves together in Abuja after graduating.
“One of us wanted to buy a used vehicle here in Abuja. We saw the vehicle, we liked it and the price was fantastic.
“But then there was something missing. We knew there was a challenge with people buying stolen vehicles and we asked the seller, 'how do we know this is not a stolen vehicle?'
“He said, 'believe me, it’s not' but we knew that was not good enough. Right there and then we saw a gap,” the CEO, Vincent Okeke said.
The trio were faced with the challenge other Nigerians who buy used cars face – not being able to verify if they are being offered a stolen vehicle.
This was the birth of LegitCar, the web application that helps you to verify the status of the car you are about to buy in order to save your money and yourself from trouble with law enforcement.
The Chief Technical Officer, Samuel Ogbujimma, explained how it works.
Once your car is stolen, go to the web application, legitcar.ng and register the details, the system contacts you to request a police report, once you reply with this report, your car details is sent to the database that millions of people would be searching every day at the point of purchase.
To verify a vehicle, all you need is its chassis number.
With little or no publicity since September 2016, LegitCar has recorded unbelievable success stories with an average of one recovery daily.
Now, imagine a case where all car dealers verify vehicles brought to them to be sold. Imagine when every Nigerian buying a vehicle verifies on LegitCar before paying a kobo.
The chances of your stolen car being recovered just got higher if only you can make its details available on that database. Isn’t that fantastic?
Well, for your information, the Nigerian police does not have an electronic database of missing vehicles in the country. So, we can say these guys are heaven-sent. Haven't we suffered enough?
You would imagine that Police would be supporting these young Nigerians 100%. Sadly, that is not the case but the LegitCar founders are not discouraged.
The Chief Operating Officer, Inimfon Ukpong, gave the assurance that in 2018, the platform would be launching a nationwide publicity.
Why not? With a solution like this, these guys may be the next big thing to happen on the African continent and many international organisations are already seeing this.
“We are one of the three winners of the UN-INFLUX Hackathon that was held in Lagos, March this year.
“We have also been formally endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology
“And also the Federal Ministry of Finance has featured us on the YouWin Connect Enterprise Education publication,” Vincent added.
He has a degree in Philosophy, while Inimfon and Sam studied Computer Engineering, all graduating from the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom state.