#Hope Metro

Ekiti Oba-elect docked over certificate forgery

By Bamidele Kolawole

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A 48-year-old Oba-Elect of Araromi-Ekiti in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Prince Babalola Babatunde, has been arraigned before the Federal High Court sitting in Akure, for alleged certificates’ forgery.

The accused was arraigned on two counts of forging University of Ibadan and National Youth Service Corps certificates.

Recall The Hope Metro had reported that men of Nigeria Police, Zone 17, Akure Zonal Command arrested Prince Babalola Babatunde, following a petition by some indigenes of his community.

The residents had also staged a peaceful protest to the Ekiti State House of Assembly and the Ekiti State Chieftaincy Commission, alleging him of certificate forgery.

 Consequently, they urged the government to stop Babatunde’s installation as the monarch of the town.

When the case came up at the court, the police arraigned Babatunde, for allegedly forging a certificate of University of Ibadan and presented same to University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti for job in 2008.

He was also alleged to have forged discharge certificate of National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) and presented same to the University Teaching Hospital for job.

When the charges were read to the defendant, he told the court that he was not guilty of the charges.

The charge sheet with suit NO: FHC/AK/16/2024 reads inter alia: “That you, Babalola Babatunde on or about January 15, 2008, at the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make and alter a forged University of Ibadan Result which you knew to be false and with intent that it may be used or acted upon as genuine by the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti to offer you a job and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

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“That you, Babalola Babatunde on or about January 15, 2008, at the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, did make and alter a forged National Youth Service Corps Certificate which you knew to be false and with intent that it may be used or acted upon as genuine by the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti to offer you a job and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.”

Lawyer for the defendant, Attah Paul, told the court that he had filed an application for Motion on Notice. He prayed the court to hear the application.

But the prosecution counsel, Itunun Osobu, told the court that he was yet to go through the issues raised by the defence counsel in his reply to the counter-affidavit he filed.

Osobu told the court that he would be presenting two witnesses to prove the charges.

The defence counsel, therefore, prayed the court to release the Oba-Elect on bail, promising that he would not jump bail.

He prayed the court to present the defendant to the nearest police station pending the adjournment date.

In his ruling, Justice  Alexander Owoeye ordered that the defendant, Babalola Babatunde, be detained in the office of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 17, Akure.

He adjourned the hearing till Thursday, May 23, 2024.

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Ekiti Oba-elect docked over certificate forgery

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