Code range from imprisonment or fine or both. Whatever discretion that may be exercised must be such obviously allowed by law. It is trite law that the sentence of a court must be in accordance with that prescribed by the statute creating the offence. The court cannot therefore impose a higher punishment than that prescribed for the offence neither can a court impose a sentence which the statute creating the offence has not provided for. See Ekpo V. State (1982)1 NCR 34. Now my attitude when it comes to sentencing is basically that it must be a rational exercise with certain specific objectives. It could be for retribution, deterrence, reformation etc in the hope that the type of sanction chosen will put the particular objective chosen, however roughly, unto effect. The sentencing objective to be applied and therefore the type of sentence to give may vary depending on the needs of each particular case. In discharging this, no doubt difficult exercise, the court has to decide first on which from the above principles or objective apply better to the facts of a case and then the quantum of punishment that will accord with it. In this case, if the objective is deterrence and reformation for the young Accused Person and I presume they are, then the maximum punishment for each of the two counts as provided for in the penal code appear to me particularly excessive in the light of the facts of this case alluded to by counsel on both sides of the aisle. In the same vein, it is a notorious fact that crimes of this nature appear now to be prevalent in our clime and the courts as preventive tools in the criminal justice system must not be seen to encourage criminal acts of this nature by giving light sentences. The court must therefore here engage in some tight balancing act: (1) To be consistent and firm in enforcing clear provisions of the law and (2) To be fair to the Accused Person where true penitence as in this case is displayed. I have considered all these factors, particularly the fact that the Accused is a first offender with a young family and young dependents and who has exhibited sincere penitence in the circumstances. Rather that insist on his inalienable right to a trial, he pleaded guilty thereby saving tax payers resources and time of court. Furthermore, it is agreed that the amounts collected by Accused is been deducted from his salary at source and paid to the complainant. 4

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