A Yaba Magistrate court in Lagos has sentenced a 32-year old man, Ismaila Mabodu to six month imprisonment for theft of 10 meters of armoured copper cable at a substation in Nigerian Railway premises Yaba, under the operational coverage of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC.
According to the police prosecutor in charge of the case, Mr. Amoke Akinyele, the man was arrested by some policemen from Nigerian Railway Corporation on the 3rd of August 2017, at about 3.45 am, while attempting to cart away the cable after severing it from a distribution substation.
The accused was subsequently arraigned on a two-count charge of wilful damage and theft of earth cable. He pleaded guilty making the presiding Magistrate, Mr. S. O. Aka Bashorun adjourn the case for facts and sentencing.
It was gathered that when the case came up again on 14th August, 2017, the accused repeated his guilty plea after the prosecutor had tendered the 10 meters of earth cable recovered from him as well as statements made by prosecution witnesses as exhibits.
Delivering judgement on the case, the Magistrate, said the offence contravened sections 285 and 350 of the criminal law of Lagos state and the accused was, on this ground, sentenced to 6-month imprisonment on each of the two counts.
While the sentences will run concurrently, the judgement was, however, without any option of fine.
Commenting on the judgement, the General Manager of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Godwin Idemudia, said the judgement would serve as a deterrent to those engaging in vandalism and theft of electricity cable and other facilities of the company.
He appealed to members of the public to help secure electricity facilities in their area, as residents of communities where such facilities are vandalised, would always feel the pinch of being thrown into darkness as a fallout of the criminal act.
“On our part, we can only appeal to our customers and members of the public to help stop this criminal act so that they will not be thrown into long period of darkness after the facilities serving them must have been vandalised.” Idemudia added.