Court sentences traditional ruler to 10 years in jail for destroying church’s farmland in Ondo

A Magistrate Court in Akure has jailed the Ajagun Ode of Ode in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Sunday Boboye.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the illegal destruction of food crops and palm trees belonging to an Apostolic church in his community.

Magistrate Bukola Ojo found the traditional ruler guilty of the six counts of felony with malicious damage, the defendant was sentenced by Magistrate Bukola Ojo.

The prosecutor, Sergeant Ajiboye Babatunde told the court that the Boboye committed the offense on Sept. 20, 2022, at around 3 p.m.

The Pastorate and Laity of the church’s perimeter fence, worth about N1 million, as well as palm trees and food crops, worth about N5 million, were said to have been illegally destroyed by the defendant.

Babatunde said; “At the Pastorate and Laity of the Apostolic Church Nigeria, along Ado Ekiti Road Igoba, Akure North, the pastor and others at large conspired to commit Felony to wit: Malicious damage.”

He also claimed that the convict failed to provide a satisfactory explanation to the police after being apprehended.

The prosecutor said the offense contravened sections 516, 451, 249(d), and 81 of the Criminal Code Cap. 7 vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.

The court awarded the sum of N5 million naira as compensation to the complainant for the damage of the perimeter fence, palm trees and other crops.

Magistrate Ojo, however, ruled that if the convict could afford to pay the compensation, the imprisonment should be vacated.

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