An Osi Magistrates’ Court has sentenced the Ajagun Ode of Ode community in Akure North local government area of Ondo state, Oba Adewale Sunday Boboye to 10 years imprisonment for unlawfully demolishing palm trees and food crops in a church. The convict was earlier charged with six-count on Felony to wit malicious damage. The Magistrate, Mrs. Bukola Ojo sentenced the convict to 10 years after she found him guilty of the charges against him.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Ajiboye Babatunde, while reading the facts of the case, said the convict, and others at large on September 20, at about 3:00pm 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.
Babatunde also alleged that the convict unlawfully demolished the perimeter fence of the pastorate and laity of the Church, valued about one million naira, demolished the palm trees and food crops valued about Five million, and demolished the signpost of the church.
“The convict, when arrested, could not give satisfactory account to the police,” Babatunde said. He said the offence contravened sections 516, 451, 249(d), and 81 of the Criminal Code Cap 7 vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006. The prosecutor called four witnesses to testify in court and prayed the court to punish him accordingly to serve as a deterrent to others who might indulge in a similar act. He said the offence contravened sections 516, 451, 249(d), and 81 of the Criminal Code Cap 7 vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.
The convict, in his defence through his counsel, Adeola Kayode, denied the allegations levelled against him and urged the court to temper justice with mercy. In her judgement, the Magistrate convicted and sentenced the accused to an imprisonment for a period of two years in count one with an option of fine of N20,000.
On count two and three the convict got two years each with no option of fine while he bagged another one year jail 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. 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 awarded the sum of N5million naira as compensation to the complainant for the damage of the perimeter fence, palm trees and other crops.
She noted that if the convict pays the compensation sum, the imprisonments would be ‘vacated.
The imprisonment is to run concurrently.
By Bayo Nelson