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Man jailed 10 years for stealing on New Year’s Day

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Tuesday sentenced a man, Akinosun Omotayo, who stole and attempted to rape his victim on New Year’s Day, to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Justice Modupe Nico-Clay sentenced Omotayo following a plea bargain agreement he entered to lessen his punishment.

The judge held that the prison term shall begin from the day the convict was remanded in 2019.

Omotayo was first arraigned on three counts bordering on stealing, attempted rape, and assault preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.

The state’s prosecutor, Mrs. Adeshola Adekunle-Bello, leading Mrs Titilayo Olanrewaju-Daudu, had during the convict’s first arraignment, told the court that Omotayo committed the offences on January 1, 2019, at about 8 pm.

She said the incident took place at No Z46 Lekki County Home Ikota, in the Ajah area of Lagos State.

The prosecution said the convict stole a Macbook Laptop, an Infinix Android phone, two other mobile phones, one pair of trousers, one T-shirt, and a pair of canvass all valued at N415,000, the property of one Mr Olukayode Ojo.

Olanrewaju-Daudu also told the court that Omotayo attempted to rape and assaulted the adopted daughter of the complainant.

According to the prosecution, the offences committed contravened Sections 297 (10, 262, and 171, of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Omotayo had pleaded not guilty to the charges and the trial commenced, and the prosecution called two witnesses who testified against the convict.

During the trial, on May 17, 2022, the daughter of the complainant had told the court that on January 1, 2019, after she finished cooking, she left the kitchen and later went back when she heard a sound.

She narrated that she thought the sound was that of a rat, she then went to the door to open it and she was suddenly pushed inside the kitchen by someone.

The victim told Justice Nico-Clay that Omotayo held her neck and asked her where her room was and asked her to lead him to her room.

She said: “I led him to the sitting room from the kitchen, he held me down and tried to strangulate me, at that time, I bit him so that he could leave my neck.

“He dragged me to the room where grandma was, I quickly ran to grandma’s back, thinking he would leave me. Then I and grandma started pleading with him that he shouldn’t hurt us, but he didn’t listen instead he took my phone and grandma’s two phones.

“He was threatening grandma, so I left her back. He then tied my hands with wire, so I was no longer able to struggle with him again and later he led me out of the room to the entrance and asked me to lie down on the floor and was going to rape me.

Omotayo said he removed her pants and his boxers and brought out his private parts. At that time, she said someone pressed the doorbell, and when he went to check who was at the door, she took the opportunity to lock the door.”

The victim further told the court that the convict started knocking on the door but she did not answer, only for her to see him enter the children’s room, take his bath, then change into the children’s clothes, took a laptop, the three phones and left through the back door.

She also said that because she was scared, she waited for some time, before she called for help.

However, when on October 19, 2023, the convict elected to a plea bargain, the charge was then amended to two counts of stealing and attempted felony which contravened Sections 287 and 406 of the criminal law of Lagos 2015.

Omotayo pleaded guilty to the charge. When the case came up on Tuesday, Justice Nico-Clay sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment and held that the sentence would start from January 16, 2019, when he was first remanded.

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