Sunday, 18 August 2013
20-Yr-Old Man Jailed Six Months After Two Years In Prison
Twenty-year-old native of Maiduguri State, Habila Yama, who was jailed six months for stealing a motorcycle, has spent two years in prison before he was sentenced.
This became obvious after the magistrate of the Yaba Magistrate’s Court, Mrs. Bola Folarin-Williams, convicted Yama on a single count of unlawful possession.
Folarin-Williams, while rounding off her judgment, said, “Since the bike was found with him (Yama), and he could neither give any explanation on how he came about it nor provide any document that he was the owner, he is hereby guilty of unlawful possession.
“Section 327 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011 imposes a penalty of N90,000 or six months imprisonment upon conviction for the offence. He is hereby sentenced to six months imprisonment which is to start from the day of arraignment.”
She ordered that the convict be released since he had been in prison custody since September 2011 when the case began.
The magistrate regretted that Yama had to stay that long in prison because he had no one to help him with his bail conditions.
The convict had been reported by the Chairman of an okada riders association in Ogudu for riding a bike which he could not prove was his own.
Yama had, however, told the court that he had bought the bike on hire purchase for N120, 000 and had lost his receipt.
He claimed he was reported to the police because he fought with a co-resident, identified as John, and declined to pay N5, 000 for his treatment.
The convict in his evidence said there were over 40 other bike riders in the same association, who did not have any document for their motorbikes, adding that he was a victim of selective justice.
The court, however, chose to rely on the evidence of the Investigating Police Officer, who said the convict had made confessional statement that he indeed stole the bike with the help of an accomplice.
Folarin-Williams also added, “He could not provide any document, he could not give any satisfactory answer on how he came by the bike to the IPO and he could not take the police to where he supposedly bought the bike on hire purchase.
“Again, he had said he was driving the bike for someone in Ogudu, who denied knowing him.”