Oyo Police Arraign Ex-lawmaker over Perjury, Defamatory Publication
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Oyo State Police Command has arraigned a former lawmaker and international parliamentarian, Dr. Folaranmi Oyebanji, before an Ogbomoso Chief Magistrate Court over alleged perjury, false and defamatory publication on a pending matter in the court.
Oyebanji and six others, including a
nonagenarian, Chief Mathew Wojuade Ademola (93), had on July 9, 2022, been arraigned and charged with alleged “conspiracy, forgery, publication of false documents, and threat to murder Chief Solomon Ojedayo and his family members.”
According to the fresh four-count charge numbered: MOG/11c/2023, brought against the 57-year-old defendant by the prosecution, which he pleaded not guilty to, he, with another person now at large, allegedly “on September 16, 2021, at about 10 a.m. at Oko area in the Ogbomoso magisterial district, did conspire to commit felony to wit perjury, publication of false and defamatory news, and conduct likely to cause breach of peace, and therefore committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.”
On the second count, while the substantive matter was ongoing in the court, Oyebanji allegedly “granted an interview to a journalist (Femi Ogunlana) on a matter pending before the Chief Magistrate Court in Oja’gbo, Ogbomoso, where you are on oath as a defendant on Charge No: MOG/157/2021: Commissioner of Police v. Chief Matthew Wojuade Ademola and 6 others, and you directed Femi Ogunlana to make publication of it in his Ogbomosoinsight online platform with an intent to incite the public against the aforesaid Magistrate Court 1, Oja’gbo, and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code Cap 38. Vol II, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.”
The third count had it that the defendant, with the intent to injure the reputation of High Chief Solomon Ojedayo and expose him to hatred and ridicule as well as damage him in his trade, “unlawfully published defamatory spoken words recorded in audible sound which was legibly written and published by Femi Ogunlana in Ogbomosoinsight online platform that High Chief Solomon Ojedayo promised financial inducement to the kingmakers in Oko, and also called him Agbeseode, an Oko indigene, but nothing to show for it at Oko. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 373 and punishable under Section 375 of the Criminal Code Cap 38. Vol II, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.”
Oyebanji was on the last count charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace through the defamatory publication against High Chief Solomon Ojedayo, “an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249(d) of the Criminal Code Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.”
The defendant, having pleaded not guilty to all the counts, his counsel, I. O. Atofarati, prayed the court to grant him bail on most liberal terms while Dorcas Olatunji held the brief of Dr. Olutayo Oyewale, for the complainant.
The Chief Magistrate, Muideen Salami, in his ruling, granted the ex-lawmaker bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum and thereafter adjourned the matter till February 27, 2023, for mention.
The prosecutor, Abdullahi, however, informed the court that the police would substitute the charge on the next adjourned date.