The traditional head of Ugele community in the Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Clement Aladesaye, on Wednesday, was arraigned before an Akure Magistrate Court, for allegedly sponsoring the destruction of properties belonging to the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The monarch was alleged to have destroyed properties worth millions of Naira and was arraigned and charged before the court on a six-count charge.
It was gathered the traditional ruler entered into the land to execute the judgment of the state High Court of 2012 which declared him the real owner of the land, but the college had approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the judgment of the case.
Some of the charges against the monarch read, “that you Clement Ajayi Aladegbaye Falodun and others now at large, between 3rd April and 20th 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.”
“That 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 3,000 square meters conserved teak plantations valued N150,000,000.
(4)Illegally felled and carted away 1000 conserved forest timbers valued N80,000,000.
(5) Destroyed demonstration farms used for students’ 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.”
However, 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 jurisdiction to hear the case, noting that there was a subsisting judgment over the matter at the upper court.
He said: “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.”
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Dan Olawale objected the position of Agbede, saying the argument of Agbede was premature and 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, noted series of error in the charge sheet made by the prosecutor and ruled that the status quo should remain on the land pending the time the court rule on the plea of the accused person and warned both parties not to cause trouble over the land.
She said: “Since his plea was not taken, I will not remand him (accused person), I will release him until the day of the ruling.”
The case was adjourned to July 5, 2017.