N3bn varsity property destruction: Osun police arraign monarch, 9 others

From Lateef Dada, Osogbo

The Osun State Police Command yesterday arraigned a first class traditional ruler, the Elegboro of Ijebu-Jesa, Oba Olufemi Agunsoye, and nine others, for allegedly destroying properties valued at N3 billion.

Other defendants arraigned with the 65-year-old monarch are: Prince Otukoya Arojojoye (69), Olusonya Osunbukola (60), Olugbenga Abudiore (69), Atobatele Israel (52), Chief Sunday Fasosin (56), Ariyo Kehinde (44), Olajubu Owoborode (47), Sunday Ojelabi (44) and Babatope Babaniyi (64).

They were arraigned on seven count charges bordering on conspiracy, malicious damage, unlawful entering, threat to life and conduct likely to cause breach of peace. The prosecutor, Oladoye Joshua, alleged that the defendants committed the purported crime between January 2017 and August 2022 at Ijebu-Ijesa in Oriade Local Government of Osun State.

The prosecutor alleged that the defendants and others now at large, “did wilfully and unlawfully set on fire buildings of the proposed University of Agriculture site at Ijebu-ijesa, Osun State, two tractors and one caterpillar track loader, all worth over three billion naira, property of Major Loye Omotunde ‘m’ (Rtd) and thereby committed an offence.”

He alleged further that the offences were contrary to the provisions of sections 516, 443, 415, 86, 517 451 and 249 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. II Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002. The defendants were also alleged to have broken and entered into Ariyan Shrine also known as “Arugbo Sacred Shrine” and carted away the sand under the shrine and used the same for the proposed palace.

The prosecutor alleged that they threatened to kill one Major Loye Omotunde ‘m’ (retd) and unlawfully cut down 5000 years old Akoko tree planted in front of Oba Loye Otuko ancient palace, property of Oba Loye Otuko. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the allegations against them and their counsels, Messrs Ajayi and Williams, urged the court to grant them bail.

The Magistrate, Kike Adebayo, granted the monarch bail on self-recognition and directed others to present a titled chief each. Magistrate Adebayo subsequently adjourned the matter to February 6, 2023 for trial.

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