An Ore Chief Magistrate’s Court has sentenced the monarch of Igburowo community in the Odigbo local government area of Ondo State, Oba Pius Akinfesola Adewola, to two years imprisonment over the fraudulent conversion of salaries and obtaining by false pretence.
The traditional ruler who is the Akamuja of Igburowo was arraigned by Ondo State government in a charge number MOR/207/2014.
It was learnt that in 2012 People of the community staged a peaceful protest and banished the monarch from the community over alleged misrule which they claimed brought the sleepy community into disrepute.
It was also gathered that the monarch was accused of short-changing traditional chiefs in the community by refusing to pay their entitlements in full after he had collected same from the local government.
The monarch was also accused of engaging in brawl with his chiefs, illegal conversion of the community resources to personal use and writing of fictitious petitions with several litigations against his subjects.
The traditional ruler was arraigned on a 36-count charge of stealing, fraud, illegal conversion of the monthly salaries of his domestic workers and chiefs, false declaration and impersonation.
In his ruling, Magistrate O.J. Adelegan said, from the record available to the court, the convict appears to me, a conscienceless person, who has no iota of regret, indulging in such an opprobrious and despicable act.
He further explained that” since it is no gainsaying, that our law is no respecter of any personality, I strongly deprecate the ungainly and unbecoming acquisitive conduct of the convict, particularly, his fraudulent instinct to corruptly enrich himself at the expense of others.
“Though, I have listened attentively to the plea of ‘alocutus’ by his counsel, but from the available records, I see him as a neophyte, I mean a first offender.
“Nevertheless, I am strongly of the humble mindset, that if the convict is not appropriately sanctioned, the danger inherent therein, is that people of like minds, may either overtly be influenced or encouraged to see criminality, as a veritable means of livelihood. To this end the convict is hereby sentenced as follows.
“On counts 10 -21 of the charge, which are on fraudulent conversion, the convict is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment or to pay a fine of N500,000 on each of the counts.
“On count 22 of the charge which is obtaining by false pretence, the convict is also hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment or to pay a fine of N500,000 respectively.
“Both the fines and sentences will run concurrently.”