27th April, 2017
A Jos High Court on Thursday sentenced a 23-year-old man, Mathias Joseph, to 15 years in prison for attempting to rob a woman, Mrs Christabel Tongman of her car at gunpoint.
Justice A. I. Ashom, sentenced Joseph after he pleaded guilty to the crime and begged the court for leniency.
Ashom, in a 16-paged judgment, pronounced the convict guilty of a three-count charge of attempted robbery, house trespass and illegal possession of a firearm.
The offences contravened Sections 2 (1and2) of the Robbery and Firearms ACT, CAP R11, 350 of the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria and 3 (1) of the Robbery and Firearms ACT, respectively.
“Going by the totality of evidence before this court from the prosecution, there was an attempted robbery and that the accused was involved in the attempt and was armed with a pistol.
“There was a motive by the accused to rob the victim and forcefully extract money and perhaps, other valuables from her.
“The fact that the said pistol was not tendered in evidence does not erase the evidence that a pistol was involved.
“The victim stated she saw the accused with one and the accused stated he had one, which was collected upon his arrest.
“From the totality of the foregoing, I am left in no doubt that the prosecution has discharged the burden of the law placed on it.
“The issue for determination is, therefore, resolved in the affirmative; the accused person is accordingly, hereby, convicted as charged.
“Considering the absence of no previous criminal records on you (convict), I am incline not to invoke the maximum punishment by law, you are, therefore, sentenced to serve 5 years for each offence and it shall run concurrently,” he said.
Joseph was arraigned in January 2016 to answer a three-count charge of attempted robbery, trespass and illegal possession of firearm.
He was said to have committed the crime on Nov. 29, 2015 at Tudun Wada, Jos, when he attempted to rob a woman of her car.
The prosecutor, Mr E. O Ochai, had told the court that the convict, armed with a pistol in company of one Alias Doctor, now at large.
They forcefully gained entrance into the house of Tongman.
Ochai said that the duo assaulted the victim and attempted to snatch her car, but was apprehended by neighbours when she let out a loud scream.
The victim, who stood as a witness during trial, told the court that while driving into her house on the said date, she noticed the convict and two others lurking around her gate.
She said, unaware of any danger, she alighted from her car and tried to lock her gate when she was accosted by Joseph and his gang.
Tongman further told the court that Joseph and his gang started to beat her, adding that when she started screaming for help, the convict shot into the air to scare away neighbours.
The convict was, however, apprehended during the robbery while his gang absconded.