A man identified as Emmanuel Nwonu has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for stealing church offering.
an Ebonyi State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Abakaliki sentenced Emmanuel to jail without an option of fine.
According to reports, had stolen an undisclosed sum of money and a phone from a woman in the Udunukwe area of Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital.
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 N45,465 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 N15,000, 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, presented the stolen money, the broken padlock and phone as proof against the Emmanuel.
Pleading guilty, the culprit said life became very hard after he lost his job and that his poor condition forced him into committing the crime.
“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 offence was meant to see him spend seven years’ In prison but decided to narrow the sentence to 12 months so that the Nwonu could repent.
It was learnt that this was the third time Emmanuel would be arrested for burglary and stealing as he was arrested twice in 2017.