By Tope Fayehun, Akure
A Chief Magistrate Court in Ore, Odigbo local government area of Ondo state, has sentenced Oba Pius Akinfesola Adewola, to two years imprisonment over allegations of stealing and fraud.
The monarch with the traditional title of Akamuja of Igburowoland, was dragged by the Ondo state government before the court on thirty six counts-charge including illegal conversion of the monthly salaries of his domestic workers and Chiefs, false declaration and impersonation.
Before his arraignment, the convicted monarch was the accused in a suit instituted by the state government with charge number MOR/207/2014.
Trouble started for the convict in 2012 when his subjects across all age grades and sexes in a peaceful protest abdicated the monarch and banished him out of the community unceremonious.
He was alleged of mis-rule which they claimed has brought the ancient community into dis-repute.
The monarch was also accused of shortchanging traditional chiefs in the community by refusing to pay them their entitlement in full after collecting same from the local government.
The community accused the monarch of engaging in brawl with his chiefs, illegal conversion of the community resources to personal use and writing of fictitious petitions and institution of several court cases against his subjects.
The monarch shortly after his suspension by the State Government, was arrested and detained by the police at the State Police Command in Akure, the state capital .
In his judgement, the presiding Magistrate, O.J Adelegan, ruled that the plaintiff had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Monarch committed the offences.
The Court held that Oba Adewola should go and spend two years in jail or pay a fine of five hundred thousand naira on each of the count- charges.
The Magistrate ruled “from the antecedents so far garnered on the record, the convict appears to me, a conscienceless person, who has no iota of regret, indulging in such an opprobrious and despicable act”
“However, since it is no gainsaying, that our law is no respecter of any personality, I strongly deprecate the ungainly and unbecoming acquisitive conduct of the convict, particularly, his fraudulent instinct to corruptly enrich himself at the expense of others”
“Though, I have listened attentively to the plea of alocutus by his counsel, but from the available record, I see him as a neophyte, I mean a first offenders”
“Nevertheless, I am strongly of the humble mindset, that if the convict is not appropriately sanctioned, the danger inherent therein, is that people of like minds, may either overtly be influenced or encouraged to see criminality, as a veritable means of livelihood. To this end the convict is hereby sentenced as follows”
“On counts 10-21 of the charge, which are on fraudulent conversion, the convict is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment or to pay a fine of 500,000.00 on each of the counts”
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