By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
An Oyo State Chief Magistrates Court sitting in Ibadan on Monday sentenced two siblings and a 38-year old man to 19 years imprisonment each without an option of fine for obtaining money under false pretence.
The accused persons, said to be land speculators, included Amidu Amoo, 50, his younger brother, Jelili Amoo, 37 who is now at large and Muritala Adeyemi, 38 were said to have obtained a sum of N13.5 million from an Ibadan-based business woman, Mrs. Adetoun Oladeji, popularly known as ‘For the Mama Ke’ for a landed property situated at Ologun-Eru Area of Ibadan.
The accused persons were first arraigned on June 25, 2013 on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money under false pretence and stealing.
The accused persons, who were arraigned on a Charge No. MI/765C/2013, however pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
The prosecutor, Mr. Opeyemi Olagunju, told the court that the accused persons and others now at large, between 2010 and 2001 at Ologun-eru are , Ibadan, in the Ibadan magisterial district, conspired together to steal.
The Prosecutor added that the accused persons, on the same date, time and place, obtained the sum of N6 million from one Mrs. Adetoun Oladeji with the pretence to sell her eight acres of land situated at Ologun-eru, Eleyele Ibadan.
Olagunju said the accused persons and others now at large stole Mrs. Oladeji’s money valued at N6 million, adding that they also obtained the sum of N3.5 million with the pretence to sell to her some acres of land at Ologun-eru Area of Ibadan.
The prosecutor also said that the accused persons, on June 24, 2011 at Iwo Road, Academy, Ibadan, obtained the sum of N2.5 million from the complainant with the pretence to sell to her five acres of land which they said belonged to one Raimi Adeleke.
According to him, the accused persons also obtained the sum of N1 million from Mrs. Oladeji on the same day and time, claiming it was their commission on the said land adding. that the all the offences were contrary to and punishable under Sections 516, 419, 390(9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000.
The prosecutor made an application that the name of the first accused person, Jelili Amoo, should be deleted from the charge pending his arrest since he had absconded from the court.
Counsel to the defendant, Dare Adebayo, however opposed the application but prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
In his ruling, Magistrate Oladele Adisa, said that the name of the first accused person, Jelili Amoo, should not be deleted from the charge sheet but ordered the police to intensify efforts to arrest the Amoo to enable him serve his jail term.
He thereafter found the accused persons guilty of all the charges and sentenced them to three years imprisonment on Count One and two years each on Counts Two to Nine, without an option of fine. They are however to run the jail terms concurrently.
Counsel to the complainant, Mr. Chima Onah, expressed satisfaction with the judgment which, he said, had been long awaited.
“We have been on this case since 2012. Most times, the convicts would jump bail. It would take months before they would be re-arrested and taken back to court. The matter had been dragging in the last seven years but thank God that today, we have been able to obtain judgment.
“We also thank God that Mama (Mrs. Adetoun Oladeji) has been vindicated with the judgment. It is now clear that Mama did not defraud anybody. Rather, she was the one that was defrauded. It is therefore a thing of joy that justice has been served,” Onah said.
In her remarks, Mrs. Oladeji said she was extremely happy about the judgment, saying that she had sometimes been dragged to the Federal Criminal investigation Bureau (FCIB), Alagbon in Lagos by an Ibadan-based popular Gospel singer who thought she had defrauded her on the controversial landed property.
“Thank God that nemesis has now caught up with the people who defrauded me on the property. I am now vindicated, especially on the false claims by a Gospel musician that I defrauded her,” ‘For the Mama Ke’ said.