14 September 2010

Nigeria: Woman Jailed for Stealing Towels

An Abuja Magistrate Court yesterday convicted one Bilikisu Dowodu and ordered her to pay N3,000 or spend three months in jail for stealing two towels and a laundry iron from Transcorp Hilton Hotel.

Bilikisu was nabbed by a security guard attached to the hotel with the stolen items as she tried to leave the hotel's gate.

Police prosecutor, Emmanuel Adikwu, had earlier told the court that on September 12, one John of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Maitama, Abuja, reported to the police that the accused stole the said items from one of the hotel rooms.

"The accused, Bilikisu Dowodu of Ogbomosho Street, Area 8, Garki, Abuja, conspired with one Jane of room number 864, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, now at large, to steal a pressing iron, hand towel and face towel from the room, thereby committing offences punishable under Sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code," the prosecutor said.

When the two-count charge was read to the accused, she pleaded guilty, saying she did not know that the items were stolen by her friend, who asked her to help her carry them in a bag out of the hotel.

"My friend parked the items in a bag and asked me to help her carry them out of the hotel, promising to come and meet me somewhere later. But, on getting to the gate, I was arrested by the security guard after discovering the items in the bag that I was carrying," Bilikisu said.

She said after her arrest, she called her friend on phone to inform her of what happened to her, but she refused to pick the calls and later switched off her phone.

Based on her guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court to try the accused summarily under Section 157 subsection 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Magistrate Ann Akobi convicted the accused and ordered her to pay N1,500 or in the alternative spend three months in jail on each of the two-count charge, adding that the jail terms should run concurrently.

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