Victim To Court: 'Please Pardon My Tormentor'
It was a hilarious day at the Samuel Ilori Court House in Ogba, Lagos on Tuesday when a case of stealing was heard at the Magistrate Court 22.
First it was their inability to speak English which is the official language of the court that left the entire court reeling with laughter.
Their narrations seemed to do nothing but mislead the court into mistaking the accused for the complainant.
It was not going to end well. So, the court requested the registrar to act as interpreter for both complainant and defendant.
Then, a middle aged woman, Risikatu (not real name) who dragged a young man to court for stealing, turned around to become the "attorney" of her tormentor.
The accused, Pelumi had been offered temporary accommodation in her shop since January 2017.
While sleeping there, he stole the iron stand for Risikatu's grinding machine and sold it for 1,500 Naira.
You could feel the anger of the entire court audience when Risikati told the court that her iron costs 30,000 Naira.
The Magistrate then insisted that Pelumi must pay back the 30,000 Naira to serve as lesson for others like him.
She added that the complainant must also be compensated with 15,000 Naira for the inconvenience she had passed through.
Pelumi did not deny the accusation. He also agreed to pay back the money as ordered by the court.
But in a twist of events, the complainant, Risikatu stepped forward and made a passionate appeal to the magistrate on behalf of the defendant.
"I am also a mother and I only need to be compensated for all my children have been through over this matter.
"Please let him just pay N15,000 and I will find a way to sort the rest out," she pleaded to the amazement of the court.
She explained that it was not the first time the young man was stealing from her and others. She believed the accused suffers from kleptomania.
But the Magistrate would have none of that, saying there is no excuse for stealing.
She insisted that she would not encourage stealing by letting the accused off without paying back.
"By May 2017 you must have paid this woman N45,000.
"If by that day you pay her N44,500 you will face trial and go to jail," she said.
She adjourned the case till May 25.