A 21-year-old bus conductor, Shedrach Ezekiel of Mararaba, was on Tuesday sentenced to18 months in prison by a Mararaba Grade 1 Area Court for stealing a phone valued at N11, 000.
The presiding judge, Albert Maga, convicted Ezekiel after he pleaded guilty for the offence of conspiracy and theft.
The convict, who pleaded for leniency, said, “I don’t have anybody here, I came to this town to look for job but it has not been easy for me.”
Maga said that the accused had not been able to give tangible reasons to the court on why he should not be punished for the offence.
He said that the sentence would serve as deterrent to other offenders of like minds.
“However, the prosecutor was unable to prove the charge of conspiracy as the other suspect is still at large.
“The court hereby discharge the accused on the charge of conspiracy and sentence him to 18 months imprisonment for the offence of theft,” Maga said.
The judge, however, gave the convict an option of N4, 000 fine and also ordered him to pay the complainant N11, 000 as compensation for the stolen phone.
Earlier the prosecutor, Cpl. Friday Adaji told the court that the convict was first arraigned on Aug. 14 but remanded in custody for his accomplice to be arrested.
Adaji said that Ezekiel stole a Nokia phone valued at N11, 000 from the bag of one Luka Ruth at Brother Plaza, Mararaba.
He said that when the convict was caught in the act, he threw the phone to his accomplice, who is now at large.
The prosecutor said the convict contravened the provisions of sections 97 and 287 of the Penal Code.