By Sade Adewale, Ondo
Four women and two boys have been dragged before the Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ondo town, for stealing and receiving cat fish worth N1,600,000, property of One Akinbomi Christianah.
The defendants; Ajayi Segun, 16, Olamide Omoduyilemi, 17, Omotayo Monisola, 20, idowu Sesan, 25, Kehinde Oladokun, 84, Adeyeola Olapade, 87 are charged with conspiracy and stealing.
The first and second defendants pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against them, while the third, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution said the defendants committed the offence on November 14,2021 at about 5:30pm at Ayeyemi in Ondo.
The prosecutor, Sgt. Akao Moremi, said Ajayi and Omoduyilemi have been committing the offences for long while the other defendants encouraged them by buying the stolen cat fish from them. He stated that the receivers continued to buy from them knowing fully well that they were stolen goods.
In his confessions before the court, the first defendant, Segun Ajayi, who claimed to be a primary school dropout said, “I stole the fish so I can sell them to take care of my blind mother, who is suffering from stroke and also to feed my siblings.”
On his part, the second defendant ( Omoduyilemi, who also pleaded guilty to the charge said, ”I went to the fish pond several times so that my younger ones can eat.”
Based on the guilty pleas of the first and second defendants, the prosecutor applied for their remand in police custody till next adjourned date to enable them stand as witnesses to other defendants.
The offence committed contravened Sections 516, 390(9) and 383 of the criminal code cap 37 vol.1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.
The Magistrate, Mrs Monisola Ikujuni, granted the request of the prosecutor and ordered the remands of the duo defendants in police custody till next adjournment. But she granted bail to other defendants in the sum of N200,000 each and two surety.
She said the sureties must be residents within the jurisdiction, while they must show evidence of payment of tax for the current year, while photocopy and original copy of identification card should be attached.
Ikujuni adjourned the case till December 14, 2021, for conviction and hearing.
Omoduyilemi, therefore pleaded for mercy and promised not to do it.