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Traditional ruler bags 2 years jail term for fraud

By Olufemi Ojomo on 23/12/2017

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The Ondo State Chief Magistrate's Court sitting at Ore has sentenced a traditional ruler in the Odigbo Local Government Area, Oba Pius Akinfesola Adewola to two years imprisonment.

The monarch was arraigned on a 36-count charge bordering on fraud, theft, illegal conversion of the monthly salaries of his domestic workers and chiefs, false declaration and impersonation.

In 2012, residents of the community staged a peaceful protest and banished Adewola over an alleged misrule, which they claimed brought the community into disrepute.

Similarly, the monarch was also accused of shortchanging traditional chiefs in the community by refusing to pay them their entitlement in full after he had collected same from the local government council.

The community also accused him of engaging in a clash with his chiefs, as well as an illegal conversion of the community resources for personal use and writing of fictitious petitions against his subjects.

Shortly after his suspension by the Ondo State Government from parading himself as the Akamuja of Igburowo land, Adewola was arrested and detained by the police at the state Police Command in Akure.

He was subsequently arraigned in court on the 36 counts.

Delivering the judgment, 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 Adewola should be jailed for two years or pay a fine of N500,000 on each of the charges.

Adelegan said: “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 N500,000.00 on each of the counts,” he stated.

Counsel to the monarch, Mr Bode Akinkoye described the verdict as fair with the option of fine granted by the court.

Also, counsel to the state government from the Ministry of Justice, Mrs Bola Joel-Ogundadegbe commended the court for its thoroughness in the judgment. (Channels TV)

Source News Express

Posted 23/12/2017 01:09:46 AM





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