On Monday, the police brought charges against a mother of two, Chisom Nwogbo, at the Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court in Abuja. She stands accused of stealing phones during a church service.
The 26-year-old Chisom Nwogbo, who identifies as a makeup artist, is facing two charges, namely criminal conspiracy and theft, both of which she has refuted.
Prosecutor Oyeyemi Adeniyi informed the court that the case was initiated following a report by Miss Esther Silas of Mana Apartment, Dawaki, Abuja. Miss Silas had submitted a petition to the Commissioner of Police in Abuja on September 13th.
Oyeyemi alleged that on September 10th, the defendant disguised herself as a worshipper and attended the Inspiration Life Community Church in the Jahi area of Abuja with the intention of committing the crime. During this act, Nwogbo purportedly stole five phones, including an iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy A32, iPhone X5, Techno Pop 5, another Samsung Galaxy model, and a black handbag that belonged to the complainant and her friends.
The prosecutor revealed that an investigation led to the tracking of the stolen phones to Idu, Abuja, resulting in the defendant’s arrest. Furthermore, during a search of the defendant’s residence, the black handbag, Techno and iPhones were successfully recovered.
“She also confessed to the police to have sold the other phones to one Paul, popularly known as Daddy Fresh, who is now at large.
“The defendant confessed to the police that she had been to five different churches within FCT and stolen phones of worshippers using similar tactics,” he said.
Oyeyemi revealed that subsequently, it came to light that a total of N150,000 and N1.3 million, which belonged to the complainants, had been withdrawn from their accounts. Additionally, an iPhone XS and a Samsung phone, valued at N2 million, were successfully recovered from the defendant.
The prosecutor specified that these actions contravened the provisions outlined in sections 97 and 288 of the Penal Code.
In response, the defense counsel, Ophie Ogheneyerowho, made an application for bail on behalf of his client, emphasizing that “the defendant is currently caring for an infant.” He further pointed out the defendant’s full cooperation with the police during the investigation, promptly providing all necessary information. Ogheneyerowho assured the court that the defendant would not evade bail if granted, highlighting that there were dependable sureties ready to vouch for her.
However, he urged the court to grant bail to the defendant in the most generous terms, reiterating that “the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
The prosecutor did not oppose the defendant’s bail but encouraged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously.
Magistrate Izinyon Ibironke granted the defendant bail in the amount of N2 million, requiring two sureties who have a reliable source of income and reside within the court’s jurisdiction. She ordered the court’s staff to verify the addresses of the sureties and scheduled the case for a hearing on October 19th.
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