The Nigeria Police on Wednesday dragged a monarch ,Oba Clement Ajayi Aladegbaye Falodun before an Akure Magistrate Court over alleged destruction of federal government property.
The suspect, who is the current Olugele of Ugele community in the Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo state was alleged to have forcefully enter into the land in actual and peaceable possession of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure.
The properties allegedly destroyed by the suspect were worth millions of naira while the traditional ruler was arraigned on a six-count charge.
Some of the charges in the charge sheet read, “That you Clement Ajayi Aladegbaye Falodun and others now at large, between 3rd April and 20th day of June, 2017 at about 8:00am at Benin Garage Area of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure,in the Akure Magisterial District did forcibly enter into the land in actual and peaceable possession of Federal College of Agriculture in a wrongful bid to enforcing declaratory judgment in Suit No: AK/279/2012 by self-help without obtaining Order of Possession and Writ of Possession of the land in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace or reasonable apprehension of the breach of the peace and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 81 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2016.”
“That you Clement Aladegbaye Falodun and others now at large in the aforementioned place, date and time in the Akure Magisterial District, did enter into the Federal College of Agriculture with Stine blast equipment, bulldozer, and motor saw and other implements in a wrongful bid to enforcing declaratory judgment in Suit No: AK/279/2012 by self-help without obtaining Order of Possession and Writ of Possession of the land thereupon (1) Destroyed rocks earmarked for quarry valued five million Naira (N5,000,000), (2) Destroyed forty border plants established in 1950s valued N10,000,000, (3) Destroyed 3,000m² conserved teak plantations valued N150,000,000. (4)Illegally felled and carted away 1000 conserved forest timbers valued N80,000,000. (5) Destroyed demonstration farms used for students’ practical learning valued N100,000,000; totalling the sum of N345,000,000, being properties of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure and thereby committed offence contrary to and punishable under 451 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.”
After the charge sheet was read to the traditional ruler, the accused person did not plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.
The counsel to the accused person, Mr. Dapo Agbede said, the court had no power to hear the case base on a subsisting judgement over the matter at the upper court.
Agbede argued that , “ The case has been determined by the higher court and there is a perpetual injunction restraining the complainant from going into the land. The higher court has adjudged the man (Aladesaye) as the real owner of the land.”
But the counsel to the complainant, Mr. Ola Dan Olawale, noted that the arguments of the defendant was premature and baseless.
He said, there is no law in the state that said the accused person could not be tried at the magistrate court.
In her ruling,the Magistrate, Mrs. A.I Ajayi observed that there were many mistakes in the charge sheet made by the prosecutor .
She ordered that the status quo should remain on the land pending the time the court will rule on the plea of the accused person.
According to him , “ Since his plea was not taken, I will not remand him (accused person), I will release him until the day of the ruling.” .
Ajayi ,however adjourned the case to July 5, 2017 for ruling.