A 25-year-old man, Benjamin Akegh, has been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment by a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, for stealing a television belonging to the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Akegh was jailed on Thursday without an option of fine by a presiding magistrate, Mr. L.O. Kazeem.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the convict had on January 27 around 8pm sneaked into the children’s section of the RCCG parish, Tabernacle of Peace, on Oluwole Baker Street, Thomas Estate, Ajiwe, in the Ajah area of the state and stole a Plasma television set valued at N40,000.
He reportedly committed the crime while a service was ongoing at the main section of the church.
Our correspondent learnt that there was outage during the service.
As the prayers progressed, a church member, Olusola Osundare, was said to have gone to the children section to check if power had been restored when he caught Akegh in the act.
The convict was said to have escaped from the scene but was later caught by church members who gave him a hot chase.
The television, which belonged to the parish pastor, Ayodeji Adeniyi, was recovered from Akegh, after which he was handed over to the police at the Ajah division.
He was subsequently arraigned on January 31 on one count of stealing to which he pleaded guilty and the case was adjourned till Thursday for facts and sentence.
The charge read, “That you, Benjamin Akegh, on January 27, 2018 around 8pm on Oluwole Baker Street, Thomas Estate, Ajiwe, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did steal a 24-inche LG Plasma television, valued at N40,000, property of one Pastor Ayodeji Adeniyi, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.”
While presenting facts of the matter, the police prosecutor, Inspector Phillip Osijale, told the court that the convict had once been jailed for stealing, but did not turn a new leaf after he was released on December 20, 2017.
He said, “One Olusola Osundare of Oluwole Bakare Street, Thomas Estate, Ajah, came to the station and reported that there was an evening service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the aforementioned address. And that when he left to check whether power had been restored, he saw light in the children department of the church, whereas the light was not supposed to be on.
“That when he peeped, he saw that the TV set hanged on the wall was already removed and he decided to enter the apartment to see what was wrong.
“He said as he tried to open the door, something was pulling it back; then he applied force and called one other member in his reach. He said in the process, one Benjamin Akegh forced his way out and started running away. He was chased and finally apprehended.”
The presiding magistrate, Kazeem, said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced Okegh to one year’s imprisonment without an option of fine.
He added that the jail term should start from Thursday, the day of the judgment.