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By: Adesoji Adetona
The traditional Head of Igoba Community in Akure North local government area of Ondo state, the Obalogun of Igoba, Chief Adinlewa Adeniyi has been docked before a State High Court sitting in Akure on eight count charge of alleged conspiracy to commit felony and false pretence to defraud on land ownership in the town.
Adinlewa and two other defendants namely Chief Adegbola Omoye and Adelana Aderemi were also arraigned before the court on Wednesday for alleged forgery of document and breach of peace.
There was a mild drama at the commencement of the arraignment over the real status of Adinlewa who claimed to be a traditional ruler of his community but he was told by the government’s lawyer of an existing official document that only recognised his title “Obalogun of Igoba” as a Chief in Obaile, Akure north local government area of the state.
The issue was dragged for a long time by counsels to the defendants and plaintiff, but it was resolved that Adinlewa is a chief.
According to the count charge brought by the state Ministry of Justice, “Chief Adinlewa Adeniyi, Chief Adegbola Omoye, Adelana Aderemi and other still at large, between year 2017 and 2019, at various times, at Igoba within the Criminal Division of this Honourable Court, conspired together to commit felony, to obtain by false pretence, forgery and other offences.
“Chief Adinlewa Adeniyi, Chief Adegbola Omoye, Adelana Aderemi and other still at large, on or about the 27th day of July, 2019 at Igoba within the Criminal Division of this Honourable Court, by falsely pretending to be the owner of Elemo of Igoba land, and with intent to defraud, obtained a sum of N100,000.00 from Mr Emmanuel Bankole Ojuola pretending to selling plots of land.
“Cause of a breach of peace. Chief Adinlewa Adeniyi, Chief Adegbola Omoye, Adelana Aderemi and other still at large, between year 2017 and 2019, at various times, at Igoba within the Criminal Division of this Honourable Court, did unlawfully commissioned the entry onto a portion of land in actual and peaceable possession of Michael Olusanya Ojuola.
The offences are punishable under Sections 81, 491, 467 and 516 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 37, Vol. 1, laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2016 which can land them in prison if found guilty.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the offences and their lawyers including Mr Dan Ola prayed the court to grant them bail as the offences are bailable.
Lawyer to the state government which is the plaintiff in the case, Mr Olusegun Akeredolu did not object to the prayer of the defendants.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe granted the defendants bail to the tune of N500,000 each with a surety that must be a tax payer residing within the court’s jurisdiction.
Justice Adegbehingbe subsequently adjourned the suit till 6th, June, 2020 for hearing.