14th June, 2012
An Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday sentenced a 31-year-old labourer, Sunday Ojielo to 150 days imprisonment with no option of fine, for joint act and theft.
Ojielo of no fixed address had pleaded guilty to the offence and told the magistrate that he was willing to go to prison as he neither had relations nor any place to stay in Abuja.
The second accused, Adamu Yusuf, 28, of Anguwan Cement Village, Life Camp Abuja, however pleaded not guilty and was granted bail.
In his judgment, Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Ilelah said the sentence was informed by the rampant cases of joint act and theft within the Federal Capital Territory.
“We must do something to curtail the situation with the hope that this punishment will serve as a deterrent not only to the convict but also to would be criminals,” he said.
He added that the sentence was made in pursuant to section 78 of the Penal Code and Section 365 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The magistrate ordered the convict to pay N680,000 as compensation to the complainant as the value of the stolen items.
Ilelahgranted the second accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case to June 28.
Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Inspector Clement Egwu, had told the court that one Polinius Okafor of Dei-Dei village had lodged the complaint against the accused and his accomplice at the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja, on June 6.
Ewusaid that on May 5, the first accused who works as a labourer at the complainant’s block industry, vandalised his moulding machines and made away with 24 pieces of moulding plates valued at N680,000.
He said the accused persons could not give satisfactory account of their actions when asked by police investigators.
According to him, the offence contravened section 79 and 287 of the Penal Code.