The court gave the ruling in Abuja, Nigeria.
An Abuja Upper Area Court on Monday convicted and sentenced a middle-aged man, Bashir Suleiman, of Kado Village, to five months imprisonment for stealing a cell phone, valued at N14,000.
The Presiding Judge, Ahmed Ado, sentenced Suleiman after he pleaded guilty to the charge of theft.
Mr. Ado said that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others who would want to engage in the act of stealing.
He, however, gave the convict an option to pay N3,000 fine.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Buba Irimiya, told the court that Mr. Suleiman committed the offence on February 9 at the Park Place Hotel, Abuja.
Mr. Irimiya said the accused stole a Nokia cell phone, valued at N14,000.
He said Mr. Suleiman was arrested and taken to the station while trying to flee from the crime scene.
The prosecutor said during police investigation, the phone was recovered from the suspect.
He said that the offence contravened the provision of Section 288 of the Penal Code.
The convict pleaded for leniency from the court, saying he was a first time offender.