Truck driver, other jailed six years for stealing hair products
The Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday sentenced a 39-year-old truck driver, George Emmanuel, to six years’ imprisonment for stealing 1,001 cartons of “Darling” hair products worth N27 million.
Mr Emmanuel and his accomplice, Emmanuel John, 26, a security officer whose addresses were not provided, were charged with three counts bordering on conspiracy and theft.
The convicts stole the products from their employer, Godrej Nigeria Limited.
The magistrate, Lateef Owolabi, sentenced the first defendant to two years’ imprisonment without fine and both defendants to four years’ imprisonment and an option of N400,000 for theft.
Mr Owolabi held that the sentences should run concurrently.
He added that the convicts should restitute the full amount of the products shared equally by both defendants.
Mr Owolabi said the accounts by the defendants were full of lies and inconsistencies, and the first defendant gave feeble evidence to the allegations.
According to the presiding magistrate, the first defendant deviated from a robust defence to a feeble allegation that a supervisor, Shoyoye, attempted to set him up.
“I sentence the defendants as follows, on counts one and two, two full years each imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 each.
“Count three, the first defendant alone to four full years’ imprisonment or a fine of N300,000. Fines shall be consecutive, while terms shall be concurrent; the sentence is from today.
“The defendants shall also restitute the complainant to the full amount of the Darling hair products as set out in the charge sheet to be shared in equal amounts by the defendants.
“The restitution shall be paid before the release of the defendants. Thus, even if the defendants pay the fine, they shall not be released until the satisfaction of the restitution to the complainant.
“Further, any amount found in the account numbers in any traceable bank belonging to the defendants shall be paid to Godrej Nig Ltd, the complainant, as restitution for the full amount of the braids if the amount is less than the restitution sum, the complainant is at liberty to recover the amount through any legal means,” he said.
According to Mr Owolabi, the first defendant drove the loaded truck out of the premises on Sunday, which was not a working day, and returned empty on Monday.
He said this crime had caused the company severe loss without any hope of restitution, and only a custodial sentence would suffice.
The prosecutor, SP Josephine Ikhayere, had said that the convicts, between May and July 2021, conspired to steal the goods, contrary to sections 411, 280, and 287(7) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The defendants were first arraigned on January 27, 2022.
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