James Sowole in Akure
For allegedly sponsoring the destruction of property belonging to the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Ondo State, the State Police Command wednesday arraigned the Olugele of Ugele community in the Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Clement Aladesaye at an Akure Magistrate Court.
The traditional ruler was arraigned on a six-count charge for allegedly entering into the institutionâ€™s land to execute the judgement of the state High Court of 2012 which declared him the real owner of the land and which the College had appealed.
The charges preferred against the monarch are: â€œThat 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.â€
â€œThat 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 3,000mÂ² conserved teak plantations valued N150,000,000. (4) Illegally fell and carted away 1000 conserved forest timbers valued N80,000,000. (5) Destroyed demonstration farms used for studentsâ€™ 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.â€
The accused person did not plead guilty or not guilty to the charges as his counsel, Mr. Dapo Agbede argued that the court had no power to hear the case because there was a subsisting judgement over the matter at the upper court.
He said, â€œ 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.â€
But the counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Dan Olawale objected the position of Agbede as he said the argument of Agbede was premature, saying there is no law in the state that said the accused person could not be tried at the magistrate court.
The Magistrate, Mrs. A.I Ajayi observed that there were many mistakes in the charge sheet made by the prosecutor and ruled that the status quo should remain on the land pending the time the court will rule on the plea of the accused person. She warned both parties not to cause trouble over the land.
The magistrate said she could not remand the accused person ordering that he should be released until the day of the ruling.
She adjourned the case to July 5, 2017