Court jails 19-year-old cleaner for stealing phone, food items

By Philomina Attah

A Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday sentenced a 19-year-old cleaner, Samuel Julius, to five months imprisonment for breaking into the house of a Turkish man’s house and stealing a cell phone and food items.

Magistrate Abdulmajid Oniyangi sentenced Julius after he pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and theft filed against him by the police.

Oniyangi, however, gave him an option to pay a fine of N10,000 or two months imprisonment for criminal trespass and a fine of N15,000 or three months imprisonment for theft.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Julius was arraigned on April 4 on two counts of trespass and theft contrary to the provisions of sections 342 and 287 of the Penal Code.

NAN also reports that the magistrate had reserved sentencing Julius to enable the police submit receipts of phone that was stolen and to also prove to the court how they arrived at N290,000 since the complainant was asking for compensation.

Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel,  Mayowa Adefioye, told the court that the complaint, one Gylych Jelicou of River Park Estate, Abuja on Feb.17 reported the case at the Estate’s police station.

Adefioye said that the complaint said that when he returned home at about 11 pm on the said date, he  discovered that someone had broken into his house.

The prosecutor added that the complainant later discovered that his infinix phone valued at N120,000, food and clothing valued at N120,000 and a cash sum of N50,000 totally N290,000 was stolen from his house.

“The complainant in the police station said that his house help one Blessing Sunday called him again on March 28 while he was away that she heard unusual sound inside the complainant’s ceiling.

“Sunday said she later saw Julius coming out from an uncompleted building which is attached to the complainant’s house.

“Sunday raised an alarm which led to the arrest of Julius by security men in the estate and he was handed over to police for further investigation, ” the prosecutor said.

Adefioye said that during investigation, it was discovered that Julius was the person that entered the complainant’s house on Feb. 17 and made away with the items stated above and also March 28.

He added that Julius also confessed to the police during investigation of commiting the crimes.

Magistrate Oniyangi while sentencing Julius said that “Julius is just 19 years and looking at the system of the country’s Correctional Centre, it might do him more harm than good if taking there.

“The day he was arraigned, he didn’t sound remorseful but after spending only four days in the Correctional Centre, he is now back feeling all remorseful and sorry for what he did.

“But that notwithstanding, he won’t go unpunished in order to serve as deterrent to other similar offenders out there that may want to make quick money by depriving innocent people of their hard earned properties.

“I hereby sentence you Julius to two months imprisonment for criminal trespass or an option of N10,000 fine and three months imprisonment or N15,000 fine for theft,” he said.

The Magistrate also ordered that Julius should pay the sum of N290,000 as compensation to the complainant. (NAN)