After being found guilty of stealing twelve cows valued at N4,200,000, two herdsmen were on Monday sentenced to 5 years in prison by an Ikeja Magistrate Court.
The herdsmen identified as Sanda Ali, 32, and Dere Mohammed, 21, were arraigned on a two count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
The police prosecutor, ASP Simon Imhonwa told the court that the incident occurred on April 10 at Epe Lagos.
Imhonwa said that the convicts, and others still at large, stole twelve (12) cows valued at N 4.2m belonging to the complainant, one Alhaji Abba Kaur.
“The complainant, who hails from Borno State, reported that the convicts, alongside six others, conspired and stole his cows from his grazing location at Shagamu area of Ogun State.
“The Alhaji handed over 32 cows to the first defendant, Ali to look after while they graze.
“But instead of watching after the cows, Ali conspired with other herdsmen to sell the cows and share the money.
“The herdsmen succeeded in selling 12 cows out of the 32 to their fellow counterpart.
“Ali, thereafter, ran away to Niger State to hide. But was arrested after the owner reported the matter to the police.
“During interrogation, Ali confessed to the crime and also listed the names of his accomplice, including those who bought the cows,” he said.
Meanwhile, in their plea for mercy, the convicts, who could neither speak nor understand English language, begged the court to pardon them.
Speaking in Hausa language which was translated to English by an interpreter, Ali told the court that he was a family man who has three children to cater for.
Ali said, “Please have mercy on us! We sold the cows to raise money for family needs.
“The police collected money from others I shared the money with and freed them. Each paid N300, 000 to the police and were set free.
“The police also arrested those that bought the cows and ordered them to return the cows. They were also forced to pay an amount higher than the cost of the cows.
“I and my friend were arrested and detained because we couldn’t meet up with their demands.
The Magistrate B. O Osusanmi convicted the duo after they pleaded guilty to the offence.
Delivering her judgement, Osusanmi said, “The defendants are hereby sentenced to 2 years on count one and 3 years on count two.”
“The terms are without an option of fine and are to run concurrently,” she ordered.
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