Osun: Ex-council chair, 5 others bag 4-year jail term for destruction of farmland 


A former chairman of Iwo West local council development area in Osun state, Tajudeen Babatunde, and five others have been sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiring to destroy farmland valued at N10 million.

Among the convicts is an octogenarian man, Kasumu Arohunfesu, who was given an option of an N80,000 fine. The other convicts are Sunday Ajoko, Kohonu Deboye, Adeoye Alabi and Jonas John.

The convicts were said to have conspired with others, now at large, on or before the 16th day of February 2019, at Ayigbiri Orupekere farm, Iwo, to commit a felony; to wit damage and thereby committed an offence contrary to the law.

They were said to have destroyed 400 palm trees and other economic trees valued at N10 million and burnt the farm. 

While the Ministry of Justice was represented by Mikaheel Idris, Dele Abass represented the nominal complainant, the Oosa Olaniyi family in Iwo.

Magistrate Abimbola Famuyide, convicted the defendants, noting that the case against them has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Counsel to the convicts, Laide Yekini, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy on his clients by giving them an option of a fine.

Magistrate Famuyide thereby sentenced each of the convicts to four years on counts one and four, and two years each on counts two and three.

Having considered the age of Arohunfesu who was said to be about 82 years and could no longer walk as he was carried to the court, Magistrate Famuyide gave him an option of N20,000 on each of the four counts and advised that he should pay N80,000 to avoid going to prison.

She directed the complainant to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for compensation, restitution or appeal.