An Omu-Aran Upper Area Court in Kwara on Wednesday sentenced a 19-year-old motor repairs apprentice, Sunday Sule, to six months imprisonment for stealing a bag of cashew nuts worth N20, 000.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sule’s co-apprentice and an accomplice in the crime, 20-year-old Afolayan Sanjo, also received the same prison term in a ruling by the trial judge, Fagbemi Samuel.
Samuel gave the verdict after both convicts had pleaded guilty to the two-count charge of house breaking and stealing a sack containing cashew nuts from a store at Oro-Ago garage Area in Omu-Aran.
The convicts, both residents of Omu-Aran, were, however, given fine options of N1,000 for each of the two charges.
While reading his judgement, Samuel had said that the court relied on the evidence of the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), and the confessional statements of the convicts to reach the verdict.
He chided parents of the convicts, who were present in the court, for failing in their parental responsibilities, which resulted in the convicts’ waywardness.
“Although this court lacks the jurisdiction to subject the accused persons to a summary trial after their plea, the evidence of the IPO has proved the case of the prosecution beyond any reasonable doubt.
“Both accused are hereby sentenced to three months imprisonment on each count, and could pay a fine option of N1, 000 on each.
“You, as parents, need to step-up the level of your parental guidance and duties to be able to reform the lives of these young children,” he counseled.
The prosecutor, Mr Abiodun Fabiyi, an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, had told the court that the convicts had, on April 9, at about 11:00 p.m, broke into the said store.
Fabiyi said that Sule was promptly arrested with the bag of cashew nuts by men of the town’s vigilante group and handed over to the police.
He said that the offence contravened Section 347 and 287 of the Penal Code. (NAN)