By Onozure Dania
A Lagos magistrate’s court, sitting at Igbosere, has sentenced a 28-year-old woman, Anna Payaro, to 13 years imprisonment with hard labour over burglary and stealing of her employer’s property and 5,000 US dollars.
Payaro, who was a house help was sentenced to prison by Chief Magistrate K. O. Matepo.
The convict was first arraigned on June 6, 2016 for conspiracy and stealing.
On November 22, 2016 the charge was substituted and a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, burglary, breaking into residence and stealing was preferred against her.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Cyriacus Osuji, had during the arraignment of Payaro, informed the court that the convict and others still at large had conspired to commit the offences on May 27, 2016, at night hours at Goshen Estate, Lekki, Lagos.
He said the convict, being an accessory to burglary, did break into the residence of Mr. Olatunde Adepoju, her boss, who travelled outside the country with his family.
Osuji said that Payaro stole jewels valued N1.2 million, cash sum of $5,000 and N300,000, property of the complainant.
The prosecutor had also alleged that the convict deliberately neglected to prevent the house breaking and stealing.
The offences, according to the prosecutor, are contrary to Sections 16 (1) (b),19 and punishable under Section 305 (b), 285 (1) and 408 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
She had pleaded not guilty to the offences preferred against her by the Police and she was consequently admitted to bail in the sum of N500,000, with two sureties who are gainfully employed, in like sum.
‘The hole is too small’
During trial, one of the estate’s executive, Mrs Teniola Jaiyeola, told the court of how she heard the convict telling her accomplice that the broken wall was too small.
She said: “When I saw the broken wall and Payaro told me that it was robbers that broke into the house, I told her that the opening was too small even for a newborn baby’s head, so how can she say that it was burglars that broke into the house.
“Unknown to her, I was still standing by when she called someone and said, ‘they said that the wall you broke is too small for even a baby’s head to enter’.”
Magistrate Matepo sentenced the convict to two years each for the first count charge to the fourth, while she was given five years for count five, with hard labour, adding that the sentences will run concurrently.