N1.6m theft: Plaintiff accuses magistrate for freeing convict with N4,000 fine in Osun

FACTS reliably gathered by Mega Icon Magazine revealed how a sales man, Yemi Adeoye who pleaded guilty of stealing goods and cash worth of N1, 619, 450 (One million, six hundred and nineteen thousand, four hundred and fifty naira) belonging to his employer, Bola Garba Nig. Ltd was freed by a Magistrates’ court sitting in Osogbo, the Osun state capital with a fine of N4,000.

According to a certified true copy of the judgement delivered by Magistrate Ademola Olowolagba with charge number: MOS/66/16 and signed by Principal Registrar of the court, Mr D. Adesiyan, a copy which was obtained by our reporter confirmed that the accused, Yemi Adeoye committed the offence while working as sales man of the company housed within the premises of NUJ Press Centre in Osogbo.

Contained in the judgement, Adeoye pleaded guilty of stealing 155 cartons of Trophy beer,  84 cartons of Goldberg beer,  94 crates of Maltina,  33 cartons of Heinekin, 3 cartons of Root drinks, one carton of passion drink and eight crates of Farouz.

Also, he admitted to have stolen the sum of N371, 070 in cash with two crates of Milk drinks, 15 Gold malt, 82 empty cartons of International Breweries products and 127 empty cartons of assorted drinks.

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The police prosecutor, Inspector Taiwo Adegoke had told the court that the offence was contrary to and punishable under section 390 (9) (6) of the Criminal Code,  Cap 34, Vol. 11, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.

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In addition, Adegoke explained that the offense was committed between 2014 and 27th January,  2016.

But, in his argument, the defence counsel, Barrister Mudashiru Balogun pleaded for the court mercy. He observed that the convict was a first time offender, therefore urged court justice with mercy and also that the convict has not wasted the precious time of the court and that he is extremely remorseful.

His statement reads, “it appears the accused has learnt his lessons and that the convict has been seriously ill for a while,  also being for the last adjournment that incarcerating him will worsen his condition and also that he is a very young man that has his future ahead of him.

“Also,  he has an aged mother and the pain of incarceration will be for them to bear,  and that today is his one year wedding anniversary,  hereby earnestly,  passionately,  sincerely and most humbly apply that the court tenders justice with extreme mercy”.

In her judgement, Olowolagba, however, sentenced the accused to two years imprisonment with an option of N4,000 (Four thousand naira).

On the contrary, the plaintiff, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ms Bola Adewoye while reacting to the judgement, lamented that the ruling has rued the potency of Nigeria legal system.

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Adewoye reprimanded the magistrate for delivering such judgement by giving the accused an option of 4,000 fine, saying that such ruling will further encourage criminality to fester instead of serving as deterrent.

Also, she wondered how a fine of N4,000 could be given as an option for a fraud of over N1.6m.

She argued that such judgement could not serve as a deterrent for would-be-criminal in any way, which, according to her should be and  intrinsic  intent of any legal system and extant law of the land.

“The aftermath of the soft landing provided for criminals in our legal system is indeed catastrophic , my personal experience in this case is practically bitter to say the least.

“Another employee in my establishment, Banji  Daramola, having witnessed how Adeoye was let out of the hook with ease by the court  did the same thing recently, carting away huge amount of money.

“I make bold to say that our legal system is a bane to development of entrepreneurship in Nigeria;  as individuals are bridging the gap of unemployment,  government is doing nothing to protect entrepreneurs for sustainability.

“This development is disheartening and dange

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