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Judicial CP - October 1998

Post Express, Lagos, 15 October 1998

Man Flogged, Jailed for Theft of NEPA Meters

By Ignatius Chukwu
in Makurdi

A businessman in Otukpo town, Benue State, who was found with stolen electric meters of the National Electric Power Authority, (NEPA) has been given six strokes of the cane in public before being sent to prison to serve a one-and-half year jail term.

The businessman, Onyedo Chukwuma was found guilty of dealing in stolen NEPA meters by a Makurdi chief magistrate, Mrs. Theresa Shija, who said, the convict would be used to set example.

A NEPA staff in Otukpo, one Julius Ameh, who allegedly sold the metres to Chukwuma has been remanded in prison custody until November 12 this year when the case would come up for hearing because he pleaded not guilty to the charge of theft and conspiracy.

The prosecution had told the court that it was six narcotic officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) who found the metres in Chukwuma's house in Otukpo while conducting a thorough search on him as a drug suspect.

The search, it was further deposed yielded other incriminating items instead of drugs.

When questioned, the suspect fingered the NEPA staff as his source of the illegal supply of the metres.

Chukwuma who plead guilty to the charge, however explained that it was some people who built new houses in the area that asked him to help them procure metres for installation in their new houses.

The chief magistrate, while convicting Chukwuma, ordered that he be flogged six strokes of the cane at the Benue State NEPA headquarters in Makurdi before going to jail for one and half years, while his alleged accomplice is to cool his feet in prison custody till his plea for innocence is proven.

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