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An Ojo Magistrates' Court in Lagos has sentenced a 28-year-old man Okanchiku Nwafor, to a term of two years imprisonment over stealing
The defendant was arraigned on a three-counts charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing and unlawful possession
He appeared before the Magistrate, Mr L J K Layeni, and he pleaded guilty to the charge.
Following his guilty plea, the prosecutor, Dr. Simon Uche reviewed the facts of the case before the court
He told the court that on Feb. 21, a recharge card seller at the Alaba International market, one Pauline Onyekachukwu, entered a report at the Ojo police station.
He said that the woman reported that on Feb. 20, the defendant stole her recharge cards valued N90,000 and a cash sum of N40,000.
According to him, the woman raised an alarm in the market, after a CCTV footage emerged, showing the defendant in the act of stealing her products
He told the court that having seen the footage, fellow traders at the market mounted surveillance and kept watch to fish out the culprit.
The prosecutor said that on Feb. 21, the defendant returned to the market but ran out of luck as he was immediately spotted and captured.
He said that the CCTV footage of the defendant was shown to him and he saw himself in the video stealing.
He said that the defendant who was visibly embarrassed could no longer deny.
Prosecution said that further search on the defendant, revealed that he had other stolen items including:
One Zenith Bank debit card, one Opay debit card, an International passport No: A12556691, and a Prime Alliance Hospital card, all belonging to one Aminu Naziru Musa
The prosecutor also tendered in evidence, the statement of the defendant as well as that of the nominal complainant both dated Feb. 21.
The court admitted the statements as well as the international passport and ATM cards and marked them exhibits P1, P2, P3 and P4 respectively.
After admitting the evidences, the court asked the defendant if the facts stated were correct and he confirmed same
In his findings, Magistrate Layeni found the defendant guilty of the offence as charged, and consequently, convicted him.
He then gave the convict an opportunity to make an allocutus (plea for mercy), following which the convict begged the court for pardon as he had no record of previous conviction
Delivering judgement afterwards Layeni said;
"Having listened to the allocutus as soberly rendered by the defendant himself and in consideration of the sentencing guidelines of the state, the defendant is sentenced thus:
"On count one, he is sentenced to one year imprisonment at the correctional centre without option of fine.
"On count two, he is sentenced to two years imprisonment at the correction centre, without option of fine
"On count three, he is sentenced to two years imprisonment at the correctional centre without option of fine
"The terms of imprisonment are to run concurrently," he said
The offences with which the convict is charged, contravenes the provisions of sections 287, 329, and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
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