TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center


Listen to article

By Odunayo Abiodun
March 26, 2010 12:23AM
Ikeja High Court Photo by Hyacinth Iyereosa
Four men were on Thursday were arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ikeja, for allegedly stealing goods and cash worth over N29 million, all property of Regatta Industrial Limited.

Joseph Ukpong, a 32-year-old man, alongside Joshua Ajani, 37; Mathias Ita, 33, and 35-year-old Sunday Samson were charged for a three-count offence bordering on conspiracy and stealing.

The defendants were alleged to have committed the offence along with other persons who were said to be at large, on March 7, 2010, somewhere along Acme Road in Ogba, at about 10.00pm.

They were alleged to have broken into the warehouse of Regatta Industrial Limited, and made away with the cash and goods worth N29, 660, 000.

It was noted that the offences are contrary to and punishable under sections 516A (1), 413(1) and 390(9) of the criminal code, Cap C 17, Vol. II, laws of Lagos state of Nigeria, 2003.

One of the charges, as prepared by the police prosecution counsel, Haruna Ebhodagbe, reads thus: “That you, Joseph Ukpong 'm', Joshua Ajani 'm', Mathias Ita 'm', Sunday Samson 'm' and others at large, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did steal Sony camera valued at N85, 000, one computer system with CPU valued N50, 000, virgin material 860 bags valued N6, 375, 000, peyele material valued N3, 750, 000, finished goods valued N1, 200, 000, 220 pieces of car tyre valued at N1, 700, 000 and cash of N1, 200, 000, total valued at N29, 660, 000, property of Regatta Industrial Limited and, thereby, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 390(9) of the criminal code, Cap C 17, Vol. II, laws of Lagos state of Nigeria, 2003.”

When the charges were read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Counsel to the defendants, Osita Eghonu, urged the court to grant the defendants bail on liberal conditions. He noted that the offences for which they are charge are bail-able ones. He also stated that the recovered goods are in the custody of the police, and the innocence of the defendants can only be proofed during trial.

Mr. Ebhodagbe, the police prosecution counsel, did not oppose the bail of the defendants. He, however, urged the court to grant them bail on stringent conditions. He noted that the police had to go as far as Abia State before they could arrest the defendants and recover the stolen goods.

Consequently, the presiding magistrate, Temitope Olatokun, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.

“The defendants are admitted to bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must depose to an affidavit of means showing that they are worth the amount of bail. They are also to show three-year tax clearance.”

The matter was adjourned to April 28, 2010 for mention