Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere yesterday convicted and sentenced a couple, Ignatius Onuorah and his wife, Peace to five year for buying stolen phones worth N50 million.
Justice Lawal-Akapo also convicted and sentenced the sales clerk, Ada Okoro, who stole the phones from her employer’s stores.
The judge further 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 after four the convicts guilty of four of the five-point 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).
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The prosecution had maintained that offences violated 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.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court admitted them to bail on various terms.
During their trial, the prosecuting counsel, A. M. Aderibigbe informed the court through his witnesses, how the convicted sales clerk, Ada Okoro stole over 76 phones from her employer’s store and fraudulently sold them to the couple.
To established the case against the convicts, the prosecutor had called six witnesses and tendered the 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, Austine Oshobade, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), narrated how the convict were arrested and how the 76 stolen phones were recovered from the convicts’ store.
The couple, in their defence, told the court that they bought the phones from the sales clerk, who did not give them receipt or invoice.
Delivering judgment on the charge on Tuesday, Justice Lawal-Akapo held that the prosecution have successful proved the counts of conspiracy to defraud, stealing, receiving stolen property against Mrs. Onuorah and the Salesclerk.
The judge also held 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.
The judge, 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.
The court also ordered that the couple’s company, Becco Systems Limited, which warehoused the stolen phones be wound up and forfeited to Lagos State government.