Two drivers who allegedly stole empty beer bottles, valued at N4.m, were on Monday arraigned before an Ojo Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
The defendants, Dauda Aliu, 52, and Obinna Obiefuna, 40, who reside at Ojo area of Lagos, however, pleaded not guilty to the three-count of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen goods.
If found guilty Aliu and Obiefuna may be sentenced to five years in prison.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp Uche Simon, told the court that the defendants and others now at large, committed the offences on April 7 at Iyana Oba, Ojo in Lagos.
He alleged that the defendants and his gang run off with a full loaded trailer of empty bottles worth N4.9m belonging to Ugo Maduako.
Simon said that Aliu was supposed to offload the bottles at the company’s warehouse, but instead delivered it to his accomplice, Obiefuna, who knew the bottles were stolen.
The prosecutor said that when the complainant discovered that his drivers were stealing from him, he quickly reported the case to the police and the defendants were arrested.
Simon said the offences contravened Sections 285, 326 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Section 285 prescribes three-year jail term for stealing, while Section 409 stipulates two years’ imprisonment for conspiracy, if convicted.
The Magistrate, Mr. A.A Paul, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500, 000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.
He said the sureties must be gainfully employed and should show evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.