An Ondo State Magistrate’s Court has jailed the traditional ruler of Ode community in the Akure North Local Government Area of the state, Oba Adewale Boboye, for unlawfully demolishing some property, palm trees and food crops.
The destroyed property belonged to The Apostolic Church along Ado Ekiti Road, Igoba, Akure.
He was arraigned on six counts bordering on felony, to wit malicious damage.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Ajiboye Babatunde, told the court that the convict and others at large, at the Pastorate and Laity of The Apostolic Church, Nigeria, conspired to commit felony, to wit: malicious damage.
He also informed the court that the convict unlawfully demolished the perimeter fence of the church, valued at N1m; palm trees and food crops valued at N5m, and the signpost of the church.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened sections 516, 451, 249(d), and 81 of the Criminal Code Cap. 7 Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.
However, the monarch, through his counsel, Adeola Kayode, denied the allegations levelled against him and urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
In her ruling, the magistrate, Mrs Bukola Ojo, sentenced the convict to 10 years after she found him guilty of the charges.
The court sentenced the monarch to two years imprisonment on count one with a fine option of N20,000; two years imprisonment each on counts two and three with no fine option; one-year imprisonment with a fine option of N10,000 on count four; two years with no fine option on count five; one-year imprisonment with a fine option of N20,000 on count six.
The court, however, awarded the sum of N5m as compensation to the complainant for the damage of the perimeter fence, palm trees and other crops.
The magistrate said if the convict could pay the compensation, the imprisonment would be vacated.
The prison terms are to run concurrently.
Culled / Titilayo Kupoliyi