The Special Offences Court sitting in Alausa, Ikeja, yesterday sent a 45-year-old cripple, Sunday Erim Udoyo, and 19 others to jail for begging on the streets of Lagos.
Over 120 beggars were jailed following the prohibition of begging in the state last year. Those sentenced were charged for committing an offence punishable under Section 166 (2) Criminal law 2012.
The beggars were arrested and arraigned in court by officials of the Lagos State Office of Youth and Social Department.
Udoyo, who National Mirror learnt, suffers from hernia, was said to have been brought to Lagos by his relation, Sunday Etim, 26, from Cross Rivers State.
Udoyo and Etim resorted to begging in order to raise money to carry out operation on the hernia, as two of them were arrested.
The cripple was sentenced along six others on Monday.
But because of his disability, Udoyo was convicted and remanded at the Lagos State Rehabilitation Centre, Majidun, where he will spend two years.
Etim bagged two years jail term without a option of fine alongside Wasiu Abass, 24.
The charge against the three beggars read: “That you, the above named defendants on 13th day of July 2013 by 9.00 am along Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, placed yourselves on the road for gathering of alms and committed an offence punishable under section 166(2) of the Criminal law 2011.”
Four other beggars and two sisters were also arraigned same day and sentenced to one year imprisonment without option.
They are Peace Ezugwu, 24; Mercy Ezugwu, 26 and Dotun Owokiigbe, 20.
The charge against them read: “That you, the above named defendants on 12th day of July 2013 by 4.50 pm at Abiola Garden, Ojota, placed yourselves on the road for gathering of alms and committed an offence punishable under Section 166 (2) Criminal law 2012.”
They were also accused of conducting themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace and collection of illegal dues from persons and committed an offence punishable under section 2 of the Illegal Collection of dues in public place law of Lagos State 2013.
The beggars were found guilty of conducting themselves as disorderly people without visible means of livelihood and committed an offence contrary to section 166 (1) (a) Criminal law of Lagos State 2011 and punishable under section 166 (2) of the same law