No oba is above imprisonment, Akeredolu warns Ondo monarchs
Less than 24 hours after Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) warned traditional rulers not to violate the rule of law, the Olugele of Igele, Oba Clement Aladegbaye Falodun, has been arraigned before an Akure Magistrate’s Court for land-grabbing.
Falodun, alongside two others at large, was arraigned yesterday on a six-count charge of unlawful destruction and possession of Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA) property worth N830 million.
The police prosecutor, Sergeant Uloh Okokon, opposed the defense counsel, Mr. Dapo Agbede, who raised an objection that the defendant, Falodun, could not be tried due to Section 250 of the Administration Justice Law, Ondo State, 2015.
But Okokon stressed that the defendant was a first offender and all charges against him were under the purview of the law, insisting that nobody was above the law. He added that the charges were all contrary and punishable under Section 249 (d), Section 305A (4), Section 457 of the Criminal Codes, Cap. 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you, Clement Falodun and others now at large, between April 3 and June 20, 2017 around 8a.m. at Benin Garage area of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, did forcibly enter into the land of Federal College of Agriculture in a wrongful bid to enforce a 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, 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, 2006.”
The presiding magistrate, A.I Ajayi, adjourned hearing for ruling on the counsel’s objection to July 5, ordering that both parties should maintain status quo. She noted she would not remand the monarch, based on self-congnizance.
Meanwhile Governor Akeredolu, during the foundation-laying ceremony of the Agricultural Outreach and Civic Centre in FECA on Tuesday, decried the destruction of government property by the monarch.
“But am happy that the man have been arrested. If an Oba misbehaves, law is not a respecter of anybody. They would lock him up. You have a college on land and somebody said the land belongs to him.”
According to him, the land belongs to the people of the state. “Government can acquire any property for use if it fulfills overriding public interest, even if it were to be yours.
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