be thief
no be thief
be rogue
no be rogue
dey steal
no dey steal
be armed robber
no be armed robber
      Fela Kuti (Authority Stealing) 
The above are the
lyrics from one of Fela Kuti’s songs, in the bridge, he is heard to be arguing
with another while accusing the person of being a thief, an accusation the
other party denies profusely. Thus, in the spirit of Fela’s song, are you a
Don’t bother
answering the question, it’s not like you would confess to being one right here
on this public domain. At the same time, you may not be a thief but you may
know someone suffering from Kleptomania. I suggest you share the contents of
this blog post which such people.

Some of my youngest
experiences of seeing thieves were at a time when mob justice was really
popular. We had be indoors and suddenly hear shouts of “thief, thief, thief”,
usually with one person being chased by a crowd wielding objects to aid in
making the life of the alleged thief a living hell. I remember watching
suspected thieves being beating and burnt alive over theft of something as
little as food items. This used to be the lot of petty criminals, very sad I
must say. I don’t see anyone beating and burning the politician accused of
stealing government funds and endangering the lives of Nigerians but that’s a
topic for another day and I do not in any way support or promote mob justice,
it is a crime in itself and many innocent people have been punished by angry
crowds for crimes they knew nothing of, an example is the case of the ALUU 4.
For those that are
however found guilty by a court of law, theirs is a special case as the law
provides a penalty for anyone convicted of stealing.  According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th
Edition, to steal means to illegally take personal property with intent to keep
it unlawfully. In a nutshell, unlawfully taking something that doesn’t belong
to you is stealing and the Criminal
Code, Chapter C38, LFN 2004
provides a penalty for stealing.
It provides in Section 390 that “any person, who
steals anything capable of being stolen, is guilty of a felony and is liable,
if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years.” 
I guess the above
is quite explanatory. So I will leave you with the chorus from the earlier
stated fela’s song;
am, catch am
thief, thief
am, catch am,
rogue, rogue,
am, catch am
am, catch am
the way, stealing with violence is armed robbery, especially when a fire arm is
involved and anyone found guilty of armed robbery shall upon conviction be
sentenced to death. Section 402,Criminal Code Act
Adedunmade Onibokun
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