A Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, yesterday sentenced two Senior Secondary School (SSS 3) leavers, Udochukwu Anyanwu and Udo Chibike (also known as Lasis), to seven years imprisonment each for breaking into a church and stealing a piano.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya sentenced them after they pleaded guilty to a plea bargain agreement.
The judge held that the term of the imprisonment will start from the day they were first remanded in prison on January 19, 2017.
The convicts were first remanded in prison on January 19, 2017, by a Lagos Magistrates Court and were later charged and arraigned on 27 June 2018, before Justice Yetunde Adesanya on several offences of conspiracy to commit a felony, to wit rob and robbery preferred against them and they pleaded not guilty.
The trial commenced on December 4, 2018, and the Lagos State prosecuting counsel, Mrs A. O. Oluwafemi, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, called three witnesses and tendered exhibits.
But halfway through the trial, Anyanwu and Chibike on February 4, 2019, went through trial within a trial and the court dismissed the trial within trial after ruling that there was a prima facie case against them.
When the case came up on March 4, 2022, the convicts opted for a plea bargain agreement and it was adjourned till March 29, 2022 for sentence.
Anyanwu and Chibike, who were re-arraigned on a one-count amended charge of stealing before Justice Adesanya yesterday changed their not guilty plea to guilty.
The judge said: “The court has ascertained from the defendants that they entered into the plea bargain agreement on their own free volition, free from any coercion and that nobody promised them.
“I have considered the plea bargain and sentencing agreement, which was agreed and duly executed between the parties. I am persuaded that the terms of the agreement are just.
“I hereby convict you, Udochukwu Anyanwu and Udo Chibike of the offence of stealing and you are guilty as charged.