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Party chieftain docked for stealing N21m property

By Oghenemaro Eruteyan

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A 75-year-old man, Joshua Eleti, was on Tuesday arraigned before an Akure Chief Magistrate Court, for allegedly stealing N21million worth  property of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State.

The septuagenarian, said to be the former APC Chairman of Akure North Local Government is standing trial for a lone count of stealing.

Eleti was arraigned upon his refusal to appear for interrogation and meeting of the executives which led to his suspension from office on May 18, 2023.

The police prosecutor, Folashade Adeyemi, holding the brief of Nelson Akintimehin Esq, told the court that the defendant committed the offence between  2015 and 2023 at Iju-Itaogbolu, Akure North Local Government.

Adeyemi alleged that Eletu, while in office stole some properties belonging to the party.

The charge reads in part, “That you, Joshua Eleti ‘m’ between 2015-2023 at Iju-itaogbolu in the Ondo State Magisterial District, did steal the following items: 92 APC membership booklet register, one yellow colour fireman generator, one branded Jimbei bus branded with late Arakunrin Akeredolu’s picture, four OX standing fans, antenna and Mp3 digital player of the state governor, all properties of the All Progressives Congress (APC) valued at N21million.

The offence, according to the charge, contravenes Section 30(9) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge leveled against him.

Adeyemi told the court that three witnesses would testify in the case. she applied for a date to enable her study the case file.

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She added that all the items allegedly stolen by the defendant have been recovered from his custody by the police.

The defence counsel, J.A. Oluwateye, applied for the bail of his client in the most liberal terms in other to settle out the matter.

Chief Magistrate Musa Al-Yunnus granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum.

He adjourned the case till March 19, 2024 for hearing.

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