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The Court And The Prison

It was a Saturday morning and Agbo was in the market doing some

shopping for his mother. Suddenly, there was a lot of noise and he saw

some people chasing a man. They were shouting, "Thief! Thief!"



They caught the man and held him until a policeman came and took him away.



Next Monday at school, Agbo raised his hand to ask the teacher a question.



"Yes, Agbo?" said Mr. Alabi.



"Please, sir," said Agbo, "I saw a thief in the market last Saturday.

A policeman took him away. Can you tell us what will happen to him?"



"That's a good question, Agbo," said Mr. Alabi. "I will tell you. When

the policeman catches a person who has done something bad (we call the

person a criminal), he takes him to the police station and locks him

up in a small room called cell. Then, a few days later, he takes him

to court. The court is a very important place. The criminal has to

stand in front of the magistrate. The magistrate may ask witnesses to

come and tell him what they saw. A witness is a person who has seen

the man (or woman) and can say what he was doing. When everyone has

spoken, the magistrate decides if the man is guilty or innocent. If he

thinks the man is innocent (that means that he didn't do anything

wrong) he says he can go home, but if he decides that he is guilty,

then he sends him to prison, or makes him pay money. This money is

called a fine"



"Thank you sir," said Agbo. "That's very interesting."

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