A 26-year-old woman, identified as Chisom Nwogbo, has been dragged before the Wuse Zone II Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing phones during a church service.
The mother of two, who is a makeup artist, was charged to court on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and theft.
The defendant denied the allegations preferred on her by the police.
According to the Police prosecutor Oyeyemi Adeniyi, the crime was committed on Sept. 10 when the defendant disguised as a worshipper and went to Inspiration Life Community Church, located in the Jahi area of Abuja, to steal the items.
Oyeyemi said the case was reported by one Miss Esther Silas of Mana Apartment, Dawaki, Abuja, through a petition to the Commissioner of Police in Abuja on Sept. 13.
In addition, he said that Nwogbo stole five phones; iPhone 14 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy A32, iPhone X5, Techno Pop 5, another Samsung Galaxy model and a black handbag belonging to the complainant and her friends.
According to him, during the investigation, the phones were traced to Idu, Abuja, where the defendant was arrested.
He further explained that the black handbag, Techno and iPhones were recovered during a search of the defendant’s house.
“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Oyeyemi said it was later revealed that the sum of N150,000 and N1.3 million belonging to the complainants were withdrawn from their accounts.
He noted that iPhone XS and Samsung, valued at N2 million, were also recovered from the defendant.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened the provisions of sections 97 and 288 of the Penal Code.
The defence counsel, Ophie Ogheneyerowho, applied for bail for his client, stating that “the defendant is currently nursing a baby.”
He added that the defendant had cooperated with the police during the investigation and provided all required information without hesitation.
He promised the court that the defendant would not jump bail if granted bail, adding that reliable sureties were waiting in court to stand in for the defendant.
He, however, urged the court to grant its client bail in the most liberal terms, reminding the court that the “defendant is innocent until proven guilty.”
The prosecutor did not object to the bail of the defendant but urged the court to use its discretion judiciously.
The Magistrate, Izinyon Ibironke admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties who must have means of livelihood and reside within the jurisdiction of the court.
She ordered that the sureties’ addresses be verified by the court’s staff and adjourned the case to 19th Oct. 16 for a hearing