The Chief Magistrate in Yabo, Sokoto state, Alhaji Bashar Ibrahim, has sentenced two vandals, Faruk Hussaini and Ila Yellow, and their accomplice, Kabiru Bala, to prison for tampering with and stealing power supply equipment belonging to Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company.
The first and second accused were sentenced to six months imprisonment for each of the four offences preferred against them while the third accused, currently at large, was sentenced to one month imprisonment and a fine of N10,000 for the offence of receiving stolen property.
In addition to the imprisonment, the convicts were ordered to pay to Kaduna Electric, the sum of N150, 000 being the value of the stolen income cable.
The accused were arraigned before the court for the offences of criminal conspiracy, trespass, mischief, theft and receiving stolen property contrary to sections 97, 342, 334, 287 and 317 of the penal code.
The Prosecuting Police Officer, Sergeant Abdulkareem Abubakar, and the Investigation Police Officer, Sergeant Saminu Adamu, had earlier told the court that sometime in August 2018, the accused persons were reported to have criminally trespassed on the Kaduna Electric’s distribution sub-station situated at Adarawa village and destroyed its feeder pillar box and other accessories.
They also cut and made away with the incoming cable.
Sergeant Saminu Adamu, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, further told the court that on the 8th day of September, 2018, Faruku Hussaini, Abubakar Altine, Ila Yellow went back to the same transformer with intent to cut and make away with the remaining cables but the first and third accused persons were apprehended by the Adarawa village vigilante group members while Ila Yellow escaped.
He also told the court that in the course of investigation, Kabiru Bala (the 4th accused person) was discovered to have received and bought the stolen cable from the accused persons at the cost of Twenty six thousand naira only(N26,000).
The stolen cable was also recovered from the said Kabiru Bala.
The first and third convicts were sentenced to six months imprisonment for each of the four offences while the 4th convict was sentenced to 1 month imprisonment and a fine of N10,000 for the offence of receiving stolen property.
The Chief Magistrate held that prima facie case has not been established against the 2nd accused person and discharged him accordingly.
The Head, Corporate Communication of Kaduna Electric, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, applauded the judgement and called on customers of the company to be more vigilant and report suspicious persons or movement around power supply infrastructure.
He described vandalism of power equipment and installations as posing set-back to the company’s efforts at providing steady and qualitative power to customers.