A 19-yer old narrowly escaped being imprisoned for 6 months for being unable to pay the alternative fine of N5000.00 imposed on him by a Magistrates’ Court in Oshogbo, Osun State when the fine was paid on his behalf by a good Samaritan. Here’s what happened.A Magistrate Court, sitting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, sentenced a 19-year- old, Abdullahi Kabiru to six months imprisonment for stealing mattress worth N8,000.00.
Shocked by the court’s verdict, Kabiru, who pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of stealing burst into tears, lamenting that he thought the mattress was no longer useful because of the way it was dumped outside.
The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Fagboyin Abiodun informed the court that the accused committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Law of Osun State.
Though, the presiding Magistrat Olusola Aluko sentenced Kabiru to six months jail term with the option of N5,000.00, the convict who could not pay the N5,000.00 fine begged for mercy.
However, as the prison warders were taking Kabiru to the prison, a man who was passing by on the road heard his cry and subsequently assisted him to pay the fine. Kabiru was discharged after the payment.
Should Kabiru have been sentenced to imprisonment or should he have been sentenced to some form of community service? Kindly comment your opinion.