Steal a mobile phone, get to cool your heels for a month

by Ada Ogbulafor

A Senior Magistrates’ Court sitting in Karu, Abuja, on Tuesday sentenced a 25-year old driver, Thomson Chinonso, to one month in prison for stealing a cell phone valued N84,000. However, Senior Magistrate Aminu Abdullahi gave Chinonso an option to pay N10,000 fine.

Chinonso, of no fixed address, was sentenced after pleading guilty to a two-count charge of criminal trespass and theft brought against him by the Police.

Abdullahi also awarded a compensation of N84,000 against Chinonso in favour of the complainant, Juliet Okeke, being the value of the stolen phone which was not recovered. The senior magistrate also said the convict should spend additional one month in prison should he default in the payment of the compensation.

The prosecutor, Sgt. Ambi Ayuba, had told the court that Chinonso stole the phone from Okeke, a staff of the National Hospital, Abuja, while she was sleeping.

“Chinonso was arrested by security men the next day in the hospital premises.

“A search was conducted on the accused during which some other stolen phones and iPads were found on him.’’

He also stated that during interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime and said that he sold the phone for N38,000 at GSM Village, Abuja and sent the money home to settle his mother’s hospital bill.

The offence, according to Ayuba, contravened sections 348 and 288 of the Penal Code.

Chinonso had pleaded for leniency, saying it was his first time of being involved in crime.

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