An Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court in Karu, has sentenced two traders, Mustapha Jamilu and Rufai Saidu, to two weeks of community service for receiving stolen property.
The Senior Magistrate, Mrs. Jacinta Okeke, said the two are to sweep the premises of the court for two weeks after they pleaded guilty to a one-count charge of receiving stolen property brought against them by the police.
“Since you were sincere enough to change your plea from not guilty to guilty without wasting the time of the court, I hereby sentence you to two weeks of community service.
“Since you were not aware that the items sold to you were stolen, I hereby order that you both should sweep and clean the court premises for the period of two weeks or risk serving a prison term of two weeks without an option of fine.
“My order will take effect from today (Wednesday) under the supervision of the prosecutor in this matter, Cpl. Umar Mohammed,” Okeke ruled.
The prosecutor had earlier told the court that the accused persons bought six pieces of stolen wrappers from one James Daudu, for N1, 000 each. The wrappers are sold for N5, 000 in the market. Mohammed said that all the six wrappers where recovered from the convicts at the time of their arrest, and that the offence was punishable under Section 319 of the Penal code.
The convicts, who were first arraigned on December 24, 2013, pleaded not guilty when the Police First Information Report (FIR) was read and translated to them in Hausa Language.
They were granted bail in the sum N50, 000 and two reasonable sureties each in like sum.
However, before the trial began, they made an application through the prosecutor, to change their plea, claiming they did not understand the contents of the FIR when they were first arraigned.
The magistrate accepted the application and asked that the FIR be read out to the convict for the second time, “in the interest of justice’’. (NAN)
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