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Court sentences 2 men 32 months for stealing cellphone

A Masaka Upper Area Court in Nasarawa State yesterday, sentenced two men to 16 months imprisonment each for stealing a cellphone.

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The convicts are Michael Onazi, 26 and Joseph Ali, 28.

The convicts, who live in Angwan Police area, Masaka, had pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of conspiracy and theft, but begged the judge for mercy.

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“We are sorry, please forgive us; we promise not to repeat such act again,” Onazi pleaded.

The judge, Mr Yakubu Ishaku, sentenced the men, but gave each of them option of fine of N13, 000.

Ishaku said the punishment would serve as a lesson to anybody who would in the future, indulge in such act. He also ordered the convicts to collectively pay compensation of N65,000 to the nominal complainant and N20,000 as expenses incurred during the prosecution.

Ishaku directed that the money should be paid within two weeks and held that in default of payment, the convicts would spend additional one year in prison.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr Frank Swem, had told the court that the accused committed the offences on November 22, 2017 at Masaka.

Swem said that one Usman Awudi, who resided in the same address as the accused, reported the matter at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Masaka. 

He said on the same day, at about 10 a.m., the complainant gave his daughter, Karlija, his cellphone to charge in their neighbour’s shop.

He said that Onazi overheard Awudi sending his daughter on the errand and alerted Ali, who stole the cell phone from the girl and immediately sold it.

The prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 97 and 288 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

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