A Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, on Friday, sentenced a 45-year-old car dealer, Okechukwu Abakala, to two years in prison for defrauding his customer and stealing N440,000 from her.
Magistrate Oluwatoyin Ojuromi, however, gave the convict an option to pay a fine of N540,000 to the complainant.
The convict, who resides in Ikorodu area of Lagos, was arraigned on Nov. 7, 2018, and had pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of stealing and obtaining by false pretence.
Abakala had begged the court to tamper justice with mercy, stating that he was aware of his wrong doings.
Ojuromi ruled that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to those with similar intentions, adding that cases of fraud and theft were becoming rampant in the society.
She advised the convict to be of good behaviour and avoid committing crime in the future.
“You are hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment on each count to run consecutively, with an option of N540,000 fine to be paid to the complainant,” she held.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Sgt. Godwin Oriabure, told the court that the convict committed the offences in May 2012, at No. 7, Odunlanmi str., Anthony village, Lagos.
He told the court that the convict had collected N440,000 from the complainant, Miss Nike Jimoh, as part payment for a car she asked him to get for her.
Oriabure said that the complainant had paid for a 1998 Toyota Corolla salon car but that the convict delivered a 1996 model which she rejected and returned and requested for a refund of her deposit.
He further said that rather than heed the complainant’s request, the convict absconded and relocated his office.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 285 and 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011..