Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo has committed six persons to 9 months jail term for claiming to be members of Ataoja-in-Council and installing a community head illegally.
The convicts, Akande Suleiman, Isiaka Balogun, Prince Lateef Jayeola, Basiru Odomode and Adesina Oriyomi, were said to have installed Oladunjoye Abdullah as Baale Irepodun community, Oke-Osun, Osogbo on January 25, 2017.
They all pleaded not guilty to the five counts preferred against them.
State prosecuting counsel, Mr Moses Faremi had informed the court that Akande Suleiman and four others performed the duty statutory and traditionally meant to be performed by Ataoja and his council members.
He also said Oladunjoye allowed himself to be installed and paraded himself as head of the community, without the consent of the prescribed authority of incumbent Ataoja of Osogbo.
He also informed the court that the defendants conspired to commit misdemeanours to wit conduct likely to cause a breach of peace and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 517, 249, of the Criminal Code Law Cap 34 volume11 Laws of Osun State
During the trial, prosecuting counsel called five witnesses, including the Ataoja, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji, Adewale Sikiru, Director of Chieftaincy Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government and Police officers in charge of the case. 17 exhibits were also tendered before the court to prove his case.
Defence counsel, Mr Soji Oyetayo, urged the court to disregard the evidence of Adewale Sikiru since he did not claim to have witnessed the installation of the community head in his statement before the police when the matter was still fresh in his head.
However, in his judgement, Justice Sikiru Oke said the prosecuting counsel has proved four of the five charges beyond reasonable doubt and sentence the six convicts to 9 months without the option of a fine.