12th October, 2010
A convict, Adedayo Adetayo, who specialises in stealing motorcycles popularly called okadaÂ in Somolu area of Lagos State, South West Nigeria, was on Friday sentenced to one-yearÂ imprisonment by a Somolu Magistrateâ€™s Court.
Adedayo was arrested by the Neighbourhood Watch team, the local government securityÂ outfit, on patrol on 7 November, 2009 while attempting to steal a motorcycle where it wasÂ parked.
He had earlier pleaded not guiltyÂ he wasÂ arraigned on a three-count charge ofÂ possession of dangerous weapon, felony and burglary, which are punishable under SectionsÂ 417(C), 509 and 516 of the Criminal Code. However, he changed his plea when the case cameÂ up on Friday.
Giving the facts of the case to the court, the prosecutor, Inspector Adegoke AkinlabiÂ said, â€œon 7 November, 2009, by 1 a.m., on Apata Street, Somolu, Lagos, a group ofÂ Neibourhood Watch men led by Taofeek Olumegbon, were on patrol when they sighted theÂ accused and others. The accused and others took to their heels and the men pursued themÂ and arrested the accused.
â€œThe accused was handed over to the police and when a search was conducted on him a sharpÂ iron cutter was found on him, this he confessed to the police as what he used in cuttingÂ the chain of the motorcycles from where they are parked. The iron cutter was tenderedÂ before the court as exhibit.
â€œAfter an investigation into the matter, the police charged the suspect to court.â€
Mrs. B.O Osunsanmi, the trial magistrate asked the accused if all that were said by theÂ prosecutor were true and he answered in the affirmative.
The accused’s counsel, Barrister A.B. Folorunsho urged the court to temper justice withÂ mercy, since he had pleaded guilty to all the charges.Â He adding that the accused has anÂ aged father whom he looks after.
Delivering judgement, Mrs Osunsanmi said, â€œhaving found the defendant guilty as chargedÂ he is hereby sentenced to imprisonment for one year on each count charge. The sentencesÂ are to run concurrently.â€