The Rivers State High Court, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced Hussaini Abubakar, a former staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to one year imprisonment with N150,000 option of fine, for stealing ehibits.
The defendant was arraigned before Justice S.C Amadi by the EFCC on a three-count charge, bordering on stealing.
According to a statement by the EFCC’s acting Head of Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, the offence contradicts Section 383 (1) and is punishable under Section 390 of the Criminal Code CAP 37 vol. II Laws of Rives State of Nigeria, 1999.
Count One of the charge reads: “That you, Hussaina Abubakar, in 2017 at Port Harcourt in the Port Harcourt Judicial Division did fraudulently steal an exhibit from the Forensic Section of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, an exhibit which you knew was recovered in the course of investigation to wit: One Lenevo S60-A (daul sim) with serial number: HBOGOHAQ with IME slot number: 1-866059026043140, worth N18,000 (Eighteen Thousand Naira), belonging to one Chuku Nelson Nyegam and thereby committed an offence.”
The defendant pleaded guilty to all the charges, prompting prosecuting counsel, N. A. Dodo to urge the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.
However, defence counsel M. M Suleiman prayed the court to temper justice with mercy, having been found to be a first time offender and with no previous conviction record, and taking into consideration that the defendant is an orphan, a married man and a father of a 15-month baby and a bread winner for his family.