By Mojisola Oladele 

Iwo Chief Magistrates court sitting in Osogbo has sentenced a former Local Government chairman, Mr Tajudeen Babatunde, to four years imprisonment for offenses bordering on conspiracy, malicious damage, and arson.

Mr. Babatunde had previously served as Caretaker Chairman of Iwo West Local Council Development Authority.

Others that were sentenced alongside Babatunde after their trial in suit number: MIW/68c/2019, include three Beninois citizens namely; Sunday Ajoko, Jonas John, and Kohonu Deboye, while Adeoye Alabi and Kasumu Ajao.

All six defendants were arraigned on four counts bordering on conspiracy, malicious damage, and arson. They were found guilty on all the counts and subsequently sentenced to a four-year jail term.

The Presiding Magistrate, A. Famuyide, however, gave Ajao an option of an N80,000 fine, considering his age and ill health.

The defendants and others yet to be apprehended were said to have, on or before the 16th day of February 2019, at Ayigbiri Orupekere farm located along Iwo/Ibadan road in Iwo, Osun State cut down about 400 palm trees and other economic trees valued about N10 million.

They were also accused of setting the farm ablaze after the trees were cut down.

Moreover, the nominal complainant in the matter, the Oosa Olaniyi family in Iwo, through its counsel, Mr Dele Abbas, had written to the Osun State Ministry of Justice to take over the prosecution of the matter from the Police, the request that was granted by the government.

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