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Please sir, temper justice with mercy – convict pleads

Lagos –  An electrician, Charles Ijendu, convicted of stealing  a dividend warrant on Thursday told an Ikeja High Court in Lagos that he had turned a new leaf and would sin no more.

Ijendu, 46, who had taken a plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), appealed for leniency, saying he had learnt his lesson.

He said: “ I am the bread winner of my family. None of my children is going to school. At Ikoyi Prisons, I have learnt that I should be wary of bad friends.

“It really thought me a good lesson. Please sir, temper justice with mercy, I will not sin again,” Ijendu pleaded with the court.

Delivering judgment, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, warned the convict not to involve himself in criminal activities in future.

“ The accused, having shown great remorse for his actions, coupled with the fact that no monetary benefit was involved in this case and had taken a plea bargain with the EFCC, I hereby sentence him to three months imprisonment,” Onigbanjo said.

Onigbanjo, who found Ijendu guilty on two of the four charges, ordered that he be sent to Kirikiri Maximum Prisons to serve his sentence.

His lawyer, Mr Oladele Odebowale, had appealed to the court to be lenient because the convict had been in prison custody since April and only took the plea bargain on June 6.

The prosecutor, Mrs Fadeke Giwa, had told the court that Ijendu conspired with one Tunde, still at large, to defraud and steal dividend warrant number 649007, belonging to one Oyebanji Tolani.

He was also accused of forging a Nigerian passport, belonging to Asagbara Augustine Chibuzo.

According to the prosecutor, Ijendu had on March 11, 2011 falsely presented himself to one Mr Ada Echeohfu of Guarantee Trust Bank in Idi-Araba, Lagos, with the said passport to steal the dividend warrant.

The EFCC said that the offences contravened Sections 468 and 484 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State 2003. (NAN)


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