Couple Jailed For Buying Stolen Phones •Forfeits Company To Lagos State
Justice Lawal Akapo, of Lagos State High Court, today, convicted and sentenced a couple, Mr. Ignatius Onuorah and his wife, Peace to a total of 13 years and six months imprisonment, for buying stolen phones stolen worth N50 million.
Also convicted and sentenced by the judge was a salesclerk, Ada Okoro, who stole the phones from her boss’ stores.
Justice Akapo also ordered that the couple’s company, Becco Systems Limited, which warehoused the stolen phones be wound up and forfeited to Lagos State government.
The judge handed down the verdict, while delivering judgment in a five count-criminal charge of conspiracy, stealing, possession of stolen goods and obtaining money under false pretence, brought against them by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The couple, and the salesclerk, were arraigned before the on an amended charge marked ID/27/2011 on the said counts. The offences which contravened sections 422, 390(a), 427, 412 and 430(1) of the criminal Code Cap. C.17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.
And they pleaded not guilty to the charges and admitted to bail on various terms.
During their trial, the prosecuting counsel, A. M. Aderibigbe had informed the court through his witnesses, how the convicted salesclerk, Ada Okoro stole over 76 phones from her boss store and fraudulently sold to the couple.
To established the case against the convicts, the prosecutor had called six witnesses and tendered 76 phones stolen, which were recovered from the couple’s store located at Computer Village, MegaCity, Ikeja.
The prosecution also tendered the convicts’ statements and that of Barrister Chike Onuwanu, who is the compliant in the charge.
One of he prosecution witnesses, Mr. Austine Oshobade, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who narrated to court, how the convict’s heinous act was unravelled and how the 76 stolen phones were recovered from the couple’s store.
Also, the convicted couple, in their defence, told the court that they bought the phones from the salesclerk, who did not give them receipt or invoice.
Delivering judgment on the charge today, Justice Akapo, after reading through the trial proceedings and evaluates parties’ argument on the charge, held that the prosecution have successful prove the counts of conspiracy to defraud, stealing, receiving stolen property against Mrs. Onuorah and the Salesclerk.
The judge also pronounced that the prosecution have successful proved the case of receiving stolen item against Mrs. Onuorah. And that the case of being in possession of stolen items have been established against the couple.
Justice Akapo however acquitted and discharged the convicts of the charge of obtaining under false pretence, on the ground that the prosecution failed to establish the charge against them.
Justice Akapo consequently, sentenced the Mrs. Onuorah and the Salesclerk to five years each on counts one and two.
Mrs. Onuorah was also sentenced to three years imprisonment on count three, receiving of stolen items. While she was sentenced to six months imprisonment with her husband, for being in possession of stolen items.
Justice Akapo also pronounced that the couple’s company, Becco Systems Limited, which warehoused the stolen phones be wound up and forfeited to Lagos State government.