A Wuse Zone Six Magistrates’ Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced a labourer, Awal Usman, to a three- month imprisonment for stealing a Honda car belonging to a chief magistrate.
The police had charged, Usman, 31, of no fixed address with a three-count charge bordering on criminal trespass, mischief, and theft.
Magistrate Farida Ibrahim, however, gave Usman an option of N20, 000 fine.
Ibrahim handed down the sentence after the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges and prayed for leniency.
In her judgment, the magistrate said that the convict was a first-time offender and did not waste the time of the court by admitting guilt.
The magistrate said that she hoped that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others.
The convict during the trial had said, I want the court to forgive me and have mercy, this is my first time and I promise not to steal again.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, ASP Peter Ejike, told the court that one Adams Solomon of FESCO Security, attached to NNPC Quarters, Area 2 Garki, Abuja, reported the matter at the Garki Police Station on October 1.
Ejike said that on October 1 at 5:00p.m., the defendant intentionally entered the NNPC Quarters at Area 2 Garki, and trespassed into a Honda vehicle, belonging to Chief Magistrate Binta.
The counsel said that the defendant cut off the catalyst of the car, which was popularly known as ‘indomi’, but he was arrested while vandalising the vehicle.
The counsel said that during police investigation, Usman admitted to the crime, contrary to Sections 348, 327 and 288 of the Penal Code.