By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—AN Egba High Chief and a popular businessman, Chief Salimon Ajayi, popularly known as Rantipe, was, yesterday, arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting at Isabo, Abeokuta, for allegedly fraudulently obtaining N105 million from a company, Alarab Properties, a subsidiary of Obasanjo Holdings Limited.
Ajayi, who is also the Balogun of Ijemoland in Egbaland and owner of the popular Rantipe Petroleum, was arraigned on a three-count charge of forgery, fraud and theft.
Reading the charges before the accused, the police prosecutor, Sunday Eigbejiale, told the court that the accused had fraudulently forged Sidipon Community Power of Attorney and fraudulently obtained N105 million from the company in the sale of 67 acres of land at Sidipon village.
Eigbejiale also said the offence committed by the accused person was contrary to and punishable under Section 419 revised law of Ogun State, 2004.”
The counsel to the accused, Akolade Afolabi, urged the court to admit his client to bail in line with constitutional provision, since the offense did not carry a capital punishment.
Ajayi, who cited Section 36 sub(5) of Nigerian Constitution, as amended, argued that an accused was presumed innocent until proven contrary, contending that the purpose of bail was to secure the presence of the accused in court to face trial and not to punish him.
He assured that Ajayi would not abuse the bail if granted.
Ruling on the bail application, Chief Magistrate Oriyomi Sofowora admitted the accused to bail at N250,000, with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the case till December 20.