BY ONOZURE DANIA
Lagos — A 32-year-old cripple, Mustapha Umar, was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate’s court, for allegedly stealing N42,000 belonging to one Margaret Nwachukwu.

The cripple, who is said to be a beggar and sleeps at Conoil Filling station by the Ikeja general Hospital is facing a one-count charge of stealing preferred against him by the police. He was docked before Magistrate Abimbola Oshodi- Makanju.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Samson Ekikere, told the court that the defendant allegedly committed the crime on July, 27, 2013, at about 10pm, at the Conoil Filling station.

Ekikere said the stolen money belonged to one Margaret Nwachuckwu, a trader, who also sleeps at the filling station.

It was said that Nwachukwu, who is pregnant, had kept the said sum in her shop, hoping to use the money as medical bills, since she was due to visit the hospital on Tuesday (yesterday), but on waking up the next morning, which was Saturday, she discovered that the money was missing.

The prosecutor said the offence committed is punishable under section 285 of the criminal laws No 11 Vol 44 laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.

The defendant’s counsel, Julius Ajibulu, pleaded with the court to grant the defendant bail on a very liberal terms, considering his condition, since the offence is a bailable offence.

However, when the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the one- count charge and Magistrate Oshodi-Makanju, granted him bail, in the sum of N20,000, with one responsible surety in like sum.

She further adjourned the case to August 12,2013, for mention.

However,  the cripple was remanded in Kirikiri Prison pending when he would perfect his bail conditions.

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