A 19-year-old student of University of Abuja, Laura Chima, was on Monday arraigned before a Wuse Zone 2 Chief Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing jewellery worth N300,000 from her friend’s apartment.
The accused is standing trial for criminal conspiracy and theft before Chief Magistrate, Mrs Ramatu Gulma.
Corporal Paul Anigbo, the police prosecutor told the court that the case was reported at the Lugbe Police Station on June 15, by Oris Ogochukwu, who resides at Galadimawa Estate, off Airport Road, Abuja.
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The prosecutor said the plaintiff reported that on June 12, the accused visited him in his house and also invited her friend, Queeneth, who is now at large to join her. He said Ogochukwu on June 13, went out of the house to buy some things.
“Before his return, the accused and her friend conspired and stole jewellery worth N300,000 from his drawer after which Queeneth also left the house” he said
Anigbo further told the court that during police interrogation, Laura could not give satisfactory answer of herself or the whereabouts of her friend.
The prosecutor told the court that the offences were contrary to sections 97 and 288 of the Penal Code.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor, however, prayed the court to remand the accused in prison custody as investigation into the matter was still ongoing, adding that the defence counsel didn’t provide enough evidence to prove the accused was actually a student of Uni Abuja.
Usman Kabir, defence counsel filed a bail application under section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution which presumes an accused innocent until otherwise proven. He assured the court that his client would not jump bail as she was on police bail and obliged the court with her presence.
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The defence counsel told the court that the accused was a student of the said university and needed to return to school to continue with her studies.
The Magistrate granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant on a Grade Level not below 10, while the other surety should be a business person within the FCT.
Gulma then fixed July 23, for hearing.
Meanwhile, if convicted, the accused risks a minimum of five years imprisonment with an option of fine or both.