Judge sentences man to three-year imprisonment over allegation of vandalism, stealing

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BY AGNES NWORIE, ABAKALIKI

Uba Group

A High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State has sentenced a middle-aged-man, Abel Nwaji, to three years for allegedly vandalizing and stealing public utilities in Onuoguinu Amata community, Ohaozara Local Government area of the state.

Nwaji was alleged of vandalizing and stealing a solar pump, solar panels, control box and cables used to convey power for the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority step-down project.

The stolen items, belonging to the Federal Government, were valued at N1, 620,000 (One million, six hundred and twenty thousand naira).

The convict was said to have committed the offence on December 26, 2021 alongside others who are now at large.

The prosecuting counsel, Eze Chinagorom, noted that Abel Nwaji had earlier been arraigned at a Magistrate’s Court on January 31, 2022 on three-count /-charge of conspiracy, vandalism and stealing contrary to Section 516(A)(a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Volume 1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009; and Section 37 of the Ebonyi State Miscellaneous Offences Law 2018 and Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Volume 1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

The charge against him read that “Abel Nwaji and others now at large on December 26, 2021 at Onuoguinu Amata community in Ohaozara Local Government Area, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit conspiracy, vandalism and stealing contrary to sections 516(A)(a) and 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Volume 1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria 2009, as well as Section 37 of the Ebonyi State Miscellaneous Offences Law 2018.”

On October 25, 2022, the High Court presided over by Justice Iheanacho Chima in Abakaliki found him guilty as charged and sentenced him for three years with option of N1 million fines.

The defence counsel, Solomon Agbafor, lauded the court for fairness in the case.