The son of a visually impaired man , Emmanuel Nwonu , was on Thursday , sentenced to 12 months ’ imprisonment without an option of fine by an Ebonyi State Magistrates ’ Court sitting in Abakaliki for stealing church offering .
The convict , had penultimate Wednesday, stolen an undisclosed amount of money and a phone from a woman in the Udunukwe area of Abakaliki , the state capital .
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Our correspondent gathered that he was arrested by men of the Nigeria Police on Monday and the sum of N 41, 465 was found on him .
Nwonu had told the police that he barged into the St. Patrick Catholic Church , Kpirikpiri, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state , on July 11 , 2020 , broke the offering box and stole the sum of N 41, 465 .
He was arraigned on two counts of burglary and stealing on Thursday .
The charges read , “ That you , Emmanuel Nwonu , July 11 , 2020 , at St. Patrick Catholic Church , Kpirikpiri , Abakaliki , in the Abakaliki Magisterial District , did enter a building used for religious worship and stole the sum of N 45, 465 belonging to St . Patrick Catholic Church , thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 415 of the Criminal Code , Cap . 33 , Vol. 1 , Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria , 2009.
“ That you , Emmanuel Nwonu , on the same date and place and in the same aforesaid magisterial district, did wilfully and unlawfully damaged one offering box and it ’ s padlock valued at N 15 , 000 , property of St . Patrick Catholic Church , Kpirikpiri , Abakaliki , thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 451 of the Criminal Code , Cap . 33 , Vol. 1 , Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria , 2009. ”
The police prosecutor , Sergeant Alumona Sebastine , tendered the stolen cash, the damaged padlock and a phone as evidence against the convict .
Nwonu , who pleaded guilty , said his poor condition pushed him into crime , adding that life had not been meaningful to him since he lost his job as a driver.
“ I am really suffering taking care of my visually impaired father ; it has not been that easy for me . Currently, I have no place of my own to stay .
I sleep under the Spera – In – Deo flyover every night .
I am a driver and I lost my job , and since then, I have not found any other job to do , ” he said .
Magistrate A . C. Nwusulor said the offences would have earned the convict seven years’ imprisonment, but decided to limit the sentence to 12 months so that the Nwonu c ould think and repent .
Reports learnt that this was the third time the suspect would be arrested for burglary and stealing as he was apprehended twice in 2017 .
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