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Ondo Monarch Bags 10 years Imprisonment

An Ondo monarch, the Ajagun-Ode of Ode community, Oba Adewale Boboye has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for unlawfully demolishing palm trees and food crops.

An Osi Magistrate Court, in Akure North council area of Ondo state who was sentenced had earlier been charged with malicious damage.

The trial Magistrate, Mrs Bukola Ojo, sentenced the convict to 10 years after finding him guilty of the charges preferred against him.

Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Ajiboye Babatunde, said the convict, and others at large “on September 20, 2022, at about 3:00 pm at the ‘Pastorate and laity of The Apostolic Church Nigeria, along Ado Ekiti Road Igoba, Akure North conspired to commit Felony to wit: malicious damage”.

He added that the convict, when arrested, could not give a satisfactory account to the police.

Babatunde called four witnesses to testify in court and asked the court to punish him accordingly so as to serve as a deterrent to others who might indulge in a similar act.

But the convict, through his defence counsel, Adeola Kayode, denied the allegations levelled against him. He urged the court to temper justice with mercy.

Delivering judgement, Magistrate Ojo, convicted and sentenced the accused to prison for a period of two years in count one with an option of fine of N20,000.

Magistrate Ojo said that “On count two and three, the defendant is sentenced to two years imprisonment each with no option of fine and another one year jail term with an option of fine of N10,000.

“On count five, the defendant is sentenced to an imprisonment for a period of two years with no option of fine while on count six, the defendant is sentenced to an imprisonment for a period of one year with an option of fine of N20,000.

The court, thereafter awarded the sum of N5 million naira as compensation to the complainant for the damage of the perimeter fence, palm trees and other crops.

Magistrate Ojo, however noted that “if the convict pays the compensation, the imprisonment would be vacated. She added that the imprisonment was to run concurrently.

The defendants insisted that the Agreement and the Survey Plan of Juwon Semudara was not genuine and even if so, the land purportedly conveyed therein is at Kurugbene and cannot convey land at Kofawe, a separate and distinct community. Three other cases relating to land at Kofawe being claimed by the same Claimant were also consolidated.

In the 19 page judgment delivered by Justice Temitope M. Adedipe, the court observed that all the parties agreed that Kurugbene and Kofawe are separate and distinct communities which the Claimant and his witnesses confirmed in evidence.

The court further took notice that the land conveyed to the Claimant are contained in three documents namely, the Agreement dated 19th January 19995, Surveyed Plan N0. GOE/OD/3499 dated 20/6/88 and the earlier judgment of Justice Bola in Suit N0 HOK/71/2005 all of which put the land in Kurugbene and not Kofawe as prayed by the Claimant.

The Court further held that “there is no agreement executed either on the 19th January 1995 or any other date tendered before this court which confers title or headship of Kofawe on the Claimant” and concluded that “the claim of the Claimant fails and it is dismissed the in its entirety”.

On the Counter-Claim, the court held that “the Court of Appeal having declared title in favour of the Counter-Claimant in Exhibit DWC and affirmed by the Supreme Court in Exhibit DWD, can this court again make any declaration in respect of the same subject matter already pronounced upon by the Apex Court? It is an unnecessary, unwarranted, inconsequential and academic venture to do so”.

The Court further held that “Relief N0.2 of the Counter-Claim succeeds to the extent that the Agreement dated 19th January 1995 in respect of the land at Kurugbene does not confer ownership on the claimant in respect of land at Kofawe”

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