Friday, 2 December 2016

Man Charged to Court After Duping Ex President Obasanjo of the sum of N105 Million

The police in Ogun State yesterday
arraigned an oil magnate, Chief Salimon
Abiodun Ajayi, at a Chief Magistrate’s
Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta for
fraudulently obtaining the sum of N105
million from a company, Alarab Properties.
The company is a subsidiary of Obasanjo
Holdings Limited (OHL), owned by a
former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Ajayi, the Balogun of Ijemo in Abeokuta
South Council Area and owner of the
popular Rantipe Petroleum, was charged to
court on a three-count bordering on
forgery, fraud and stealing. The police
prosecutor, Sunday Eigbejiale, said the
accused fraudulently forged the Sidipon
Community Power of Attorney and
fraudulently used same to obtain N105
million from Alarab Properties. Eigbejiale
told the court that the accused obtained the
huge sum in the sales of 67 acres of land at
the Sidipon village, along Abeokuta-
Sagamu Expressway. The police prosecutor
said the offence was contrary to and
punishable under Section 419 revised law
of Ogun State 2004.
The charge reads in part: “That you,
Salimon Abiodun Ajayi, between 2007 and
2012, with intent to defraud, did obtain the
sum of N105 million, property of Alarab
Properties, a subsidiary of Obasanjo
Holdings Limited, with the pretext that you
are in position to sell 67 acres of land to
Alarab Properties and thereby committed
an offence contrary to and punishable
under Section 419 of Ogun State 2004.”
Ajayi, however, pleaded not guilty when
the charges were read to him. Moving
motion for bail application, counsel to the
accused, Akolade Afolabi, urged the court
to admit his client to bail in line with
constitutional provision, since the offence
attracts no capital punishment.
Citing Section 36 (5) of the 1999
Constitution as amended, the defence
counsel argued that an accused is
presumed innocent until proven contrary.
He said the purpose of bail is 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, however, Chief Magistrate
Oriyomi Sofowora admitted the accused to
bail in the sum of N250,000 with two
sureties in like sum.
The Magistrate thereafter adjourned the
case till December 20, 2016. In another
development, the House of Representatives,
yesterday, raised the alarm over what it
called, “the rising spate of land grabbing
by foreign companies in the guise of
investment in the country.”