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In Lagos Driver faces N1.2m car-theft charge

Okparaji pleaded not guilty of the two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

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A criminal in handcuffs

(Crime Facts)

48-year-old cab driver, Hope Okparaji, who allegedly stole a Toyota Camry car valued at N1.2 million, was on Friday brought before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State.

Okparaji, who resides at No. 2, Barkinson St., off Liasu Road, Egbe near Isolo, Lagos State, is being tried on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, Insp. Peter Nwagwu, told the court that the accused committed the offences on March 17 at his residence.

Nwagwu said that the accused conspired with others still at large to steal a car, which was given to him on hire purchase, by the complainant, Pastor Chris Obioha.

“The complainant reported that he gave the car to Okparaji on hire purchase for commercial purpose with an agreement of a weekly remittance of N18,000 to him.

“The accused defaulted as he could only pay for two weeks.

“The complainant called the accused to remit his money but all efforts proved abortive until Okparaji later claimed that the car had been stolen,” he said.

He said the offences contravened Sections 285 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 285 stipulates a three-year jail term for stealing, while Section 409 provides two years for conspiracy.

The chief magistrate, Mr Y.O. Aje-Afunwa, granted the accused bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Aje-Afunwa said the sureties must be gainfully employed with tax payment to the Lagos State Government and adjourned the case until July 24 for mention.

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