After spending 10 months in custody at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prisons, Apapa, a Lagos housewife, Rita Nwaolu, 36 has begged an Ejigbo Magistratesâ€™ Court to jail her instead of remanding her in prison custody perpetually.
The accused begged Magistrate Sherry Solebo to jail her and minimise her sufferings in custody.
She got what she wanted because she was jailed for two years for obtaining money under false pretence.
When the case came up again in court yesterday, she lamented that she had spent 10 months in custody and had been abandoned by her husband and members of her family.
She told the magistrate that it was better for her to serve her jail terms and regain freedom than continuing to languish in custody while the trial lingers.
She changed her plea from not guilty to guilty and pleaded with the court to jail her accordingly.
Ten months ago, Rita was arraigned in court for fraud under Section 419 of the Criminal Code for allegedly defrauding three of her friends, Mrs. Florence Chukwu, Beauty Akporde and Rose Mberebe to the tune of N240,000 at their residence at 36, Eze Awa Street, Ikotun, Lagos.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N200,000 with one surety.
The magistrate ordered that she should be remanded in custody when her husband and relations could not meet the conditions attached to her.
But after spending 10 months in custody and with no prospect of regaining freedom, she changed her plea to guilty.
The court found her guilty after the prosecutor, Inspector Kunle Shonibare presented the facts of the matter before the court.
When P.M.NEWS visited her home in Ikotun to know why her husband abandoned her in custody, the one-room apartment she occupied with her husband was locked. Neighbours described the accused as a cantankerous woman who was always fighting everybody.
One of her co-tenants who gave her name as Florence disclosed that the husband of the accused whom she identified as Lawrence abandoned her and the children and moved to Delta State following constant fighting.
â€œShe is a troublesome woman. She was fighting everybody and her husband had to abandon her and the children and moved to Delta State,â€ Florence told P.M.NEWS.
The woman also told the paper that her four children were sent to her husband in Delta State when she was remanded in custody.
Florence who is one of the complainants in the case, was not happy that the court could not retrieve her money from the accused, adding that she would have loved to be given her money back.
â€” Cyriacus Izuekwe