An Abuja Upper Area Court in Karu has sentenced a 20-year-old man, Abdulaziz Musa, to one year in prison for theft and breaking out of a court cell.
The presiding Judge, Hassan Ishaq, sentenced Musa without an option of fine after he pleaded guilty to a three-count charge of theft, mischief and escape from lawful custody.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the convict was first sentenced to six months in prison for house breaking and theft by a Karshi Grade 1 Area Court on May 20.
While the prosecutor, Cpl. Pascal Njoku, was making arrangements to transport the convict to prison, he escaped from a Karu Magistrates’ Court cell where he was being held.
At Tuesday’s sitting, Musa, of Angwan Sarki, Orozo, Abuja begged the court for leniency and blamed the devil for his action.
Justice Ishaq said: “In view of his admission and the evidence before me that the convict was sentenced months ago for theft by a sister court but escaped from police custody, I hereby try him summarily.
“The convict was not remorseful over the offence but rather blamed his actions on the devil; this is not a genuine excuse to commit a similar offence.
“You are hereby sentenced to 12 months in prison without an option of fine and are to pay the sum of N97,000 for the repairs of the court cell you damaged,’’ he ruled.
The prosecutor, Cpl. Pascal Njoku, told the court that the convict, after breaking out of the court cell, escaped to neighbouring Nasarawa State.
There, he stole a Jincheng motorcycle valued at N64,000 on July 2.
Njoku named one Dauda Shekada as the owner of the motorcycle, which he said the convict sold for just N10,000 and thereafter squandered the money within 24 hours.
He further stated that the motorcycle was later recovered from the buyer through the intervention of the Nasarawa Police Division and was returned to the owner.
The offences, according to the prosecutor, contravene sections 287, 327 and 172 of the Penal code respectively.
When asked by the judge why he escaped from lawful custody, the convict said that he had never been to prison and could not stand its hardship.
“I had no option than to break the burglary proof and escape through the cell ceiling to avoid being taken to prison,’’ he said. (NAN)