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Judicial CP - August 2007

Corpun file 19558

Saturday Tribune, Ibadan, 25 August 2007

Sharia Court Jails 13-year-old

A Bauchi Sharia Court has sentenced a 13-year-old boy (name withheld) to six months imprisonment for stealing milk and biscuits worth N1,300.

The boy and one Ukasha Jadda were standing trial before the court on charges of theft, contrary to Sections 126,128 and 150 of the Penal Code.

The police accused the boys of breaking into a shop at Wunti Market and stealing the items.

Ruling on the matter on Thursday, the judge, Malam Musa Baraya, also fined the boy N4,000 for lying to the court by implicating Jadda, who was discharged and acquitted.

Baraya further ordered the boy to pay N3,000 to the shopkeeper, Mr. Bashir Musa.

In addition, the minor was given 12 strokes of the cane administered shortly after the court's ruling.

The boy had earlier told the court that he committed the offence because his divorced parents were not taking care of him.

In a reaction to the court's verdict, former Bauchi State NBA Chairman, Kefas Magaji, said that it was legally wrong for the judge to sentence a 13-year-old to prison.

Magaji said, "Minors should be taken to a juvenile home or reformatory home and not prison.

"A minor also cannot pay compensation or cost because he is still a dependant."

Magaji said although he was not knowledgeable in Sharia law, "I believe it is constitutionally wrong to send the boy to prison."

2004 - 2007 African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc.

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