An Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday ordered a 35-year-old dry cleaner, Emmanuel Lawani, to pay a compensation of N500,000 for theft or serve one year in prison.
Senior Magistrate Idayat Akanbi also sentenced Lawani to six months imprisonment in another theft case but gave him an option of N2,000 fine, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The police prosecutor, Cpl. Simon Emmanuel, had earlier told the court that one Nnamani Jude of EFAB Estate, Abuja, lodged the complaint at the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja, on July 10, 2012.
He said that, sometime in February 2012, the accused was employed as a dry cleaner by the complainant but within a month stole items from Jude’s boutique, valued at N500,000 and escaped to unknown destination.
Emmanuel told the court that the accused also stole clothes deposited by customers for dry cleaning at a shop owned by Jude.
He said the offence contravened sections 289 of the Penal Code.
The prosecutor added that on July 10, the accused was arrested at EFAB Estate and some of the clothes he stole were found in his possession. He added that even the cloth the accused wore on the day he was arrested also belonged to the complainant.
The accused pleaded guilty to the charges, saying, “I sold some of the clothes and I have spent the money.”