By Kayode Olabanji
A 53-year-old clergyman, Akinlolu Ojo, has been arraigned before an Akure Magistrates’ Court for allegedly defrauding a farmer, Godspower Obonah, of N457, 000.
The police brought the cleric before the court on Monday, on two counts of intent to defraud and stealing.
The Hope Metro gathered that the suspect allegedly defrauded Obonah, by obtaining the sum of N457,000 from him under the false pretence of leasing his cocoa farm to Obonah between January 1st and December 31, 2018.
The cleric was said to have reneged on his promise to lease his farm to the farmer.
He was said to have committed the offence on October 6, 2018 at about 10.00am at Fagbo via Ondo in the Ondo state magisterial district.
The prosecution also said the defendant stole yams, cassava, cocoyams and plantains, valued at N800, 000 only, property belonging to the complainant Obonah, sometimes between January and April ,l 2018 in the magisterial district.
The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to Section 383 and punishable under Section 419 and 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Volume 1 laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge. when it was read to him.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Adebayo Sulaiman, prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him study the case file properly and present his witness before the court.
Counsel to the defendant, Mrs O. O Adedire, did not oppose the prosecutor’s oral application for an adjournment.
But he urged the court to grant her client bail, since the offences are bailable, saying that the accused will not jump bail.
She assured the court of credible and reliable surety who will stand for the accused person if granted bail.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs Victoria Bob – Manuel, granted the defendant bail in sum of N500,000, with one surety in like sum.
She said the surety must provide evidence of tax payment for the current year, obtained from the State Internal Revenue Department, including two passport -size photographs of both the surety and the defendant.
She said the accused person must provide the court with his official and residential address, which would be verified by the court.
The case was adjourned till December 21, 2018 for trial.