A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Jos on Thursday sentenced a 25-year-old man, Salisu Rabiu, to four months imprisonment for causing public disturbance.
Rabiu was convicted for causing stampede in a hotel, which he entered with a black polythene bag, a situation that caused panic among the customers that were drinking.
The court, however, gave the convict an option of N1,000 fine. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Talatu Gada, said that the prosecution had convinced the court that the accused committed the offence.
Gada said that the confessional statement of the accused had assisted the court to convict him. “The court relied heavily on section 157 (1) of the criminal procedure code (CPC) to convict the accused,” she said.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr. Ado Ali, had told the court that the accused on July 27, at about 7.00 p.m. entered the bar of the Valley Hotel, Jos at Angwan-Jummai Area of Jos. Ali said that the accused entered the hotel and stood in the centre of the bar clutching the bag.
The prosecution said his action scared the customers, who started running away thinking that he was a suicide bomber who wanted to bomb the hotel. He said that the accused was arrested by the hotel security personnel. The accused person was subsequently handed over to the police at `A Division Police Station for interrogation and during investigation the accused pleaded guilty.
The prosecutor said that the accused committed an offence contrary to section 114 of the Penal Code. When the case came up for hearing, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge and begged the court for leniency saying that he was a first offender.
The judge warned him to desist from the bad habit of scaring innocent people. She said the court would not be lenient with him in future if he appeared before it on a similar charge.