An Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday sentenced a 26-year-old man, Henry Chinedu, to four and a half years’ imprisonment for stealing a trailer load of Softcare pampers worth N13.5 million.
Chinedu, whose address was not provided, faced a three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and breach of peace.
The Magistrate, Mr Lateef Owolabi, sentenced him to one year imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 for conspiracy , three years imprisonment or N200,000 for stealing, and six months imprisonment or N10,000 fine for breach of peace.
Owolab, however, held that the sentences should run concurrently.
He added that the defendant should restitute the said items (Softcare pampers) worth N13.5 million to the complainant, Mr Okuoromi Ehighamhe.
Owolabi said the convict changed his plea from not guilty to guilty during trial.
He said: “I have critically evaluated the entire facts presented by the prosecution vis a vis Section 213 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, and I am satisfied with the facts presented by the prosecution.
“They are detailed, cogent and helpful.
“The narration by the prosecution supports the charge, and is in tandem with the intendments of the law.
“The admission of guilt and confessions of the defendant are direct, positive and unequivocal,” he noted.
“This type of offence needs to be curtailed. I am of the view that any punishment devoid of custody sentencing shall be inappropriate.
“There is the strong need to send a firm message to the defendant in particular and the society at large in this regard,” he said.
The convict had prayed for leniency, saying that the stolen items had been recovered.
The prosecutor, SP Josephine Ikhayere, had said that the convict, sometime in August 2022, conspired with others at large to steal the goods, contrary to Sections 411, 173 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Source – NAN