Plea Bargain: Court jails school leaver 7 years for housebreaking

A Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square on Monday sentenced a 26-year-old man, Solomon Oweicho, to seven years’ imprisonment for housebreaking.

Justice Yetunde Adesanya convicted and sentenced Onweicho, a Secondary School Certificate holder, following his guilty plea to a count charge of housebreaking.

Onweicho admitted guilt under a plea bargain agreement.

Adesanya found Onweicho guilty as charged and held that the sentence would take effect from the time he was remand by a magistrates’ court.

She said that the sentence was in line with Section 76 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2011.

“The court has ascertained from the defendant that he entered into the plea bargain agreement on his own free volition, free from any coercion. The defendant is fully competent to answer to his plea.

“I convict you Solomon Oweicho as charged. I sentence you to seven years’ jail term which commences from Feb. 14, 2017, when you were remanded by the Magistrates’ Court,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convict was first arraigned before a magistrates’ court on Feb. 14, 2017 and was subsequently arraigned before the high court on Feb. 15.

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His trial began on Oct. 12.

Prosecution counsel, Mr, A. M Adetokunbo, had told the court that the convict committed burglary and robbery.

The convict had pleaded not guilty but after trial started and prosecution called a witness, he entered into a plea bargain agreement with prosecution.

On Monday, Adetokunbo informed the court that Oweicho had applied for a plea bargain agreement.

He was consequently re-arraigned and he pleaded guilty to a charge of housebreaking.

In the charge, the convict was said to have broken into the house of one Mr Kingsley Onere at Lekki area of Lagos, on Feb. 9, 2017, at 6:00 p.m.

The offence contravenes Section 307 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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