Egba high chief docked over alleged N105m fraud

By Ahmed Shobiye, Abeokuta

A businessman, Chief Abiodun Ajayi has been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Ajayi who is an high chief was charged with allegation of defrauding, a firm, Alarab Properties, a subsidiary of Obasanjo Holdings Limited (OHL), of the sum of N105m.

Ajayi, who is the Balogun of Ijemo land in Egbaland was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on forgery, fraud and stealing.

At the resume hearing on Tuesday, Police Prosecutor, Sunday Eigbejiale, said the accused fraudulently forged Sidipon Community Power of Attorney and fraudulently used same to obtain the sum of N105m from Alarab Properties in a transaction involving the sale of 67acres of land at the Sidipon village.

Ajayi who is also a petroleum products dealer, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges proffered against him.

His counsel, Mr Akolade Afolabi, urged the court to admit his client to bail in line with constitutional provision, since the offence carries no capital punishment.

Citing section 36 sub(5) of Nigerian constitution as amended, Afolabi who argued that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, said the purpose of bail is to secure the presence of the accused in court to face trial and not to punish him.

He assured that the accused would not abuse the bail if granted.

But ruling on the bail application, the Presiding Chief Magistrate, Magistrate Oriyomi Sofowora, admitted the accused to bail in the sum N250,000.00 with two sureties in the like sum.

The Magistrate thereafter adjoined the case till December 20, 2016.

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