An Ado-Ekiti chief magistrates’ court, on Friday, sentenced one Ganiyu Suberu to four years imprisonment for committing an anti-land grabbing crime.
Saka Afunso, the chief magistrate, in his judgment considered the plea of Yinka Adelusi, the defence counsel, who pleaded to temper justice with mercy.
Afunso ruled that the sentence would run concurrently for being guilty on two out of three charges preferred against the defendant.
He found the defendant guilty as charged in counts two and three, while he dismissed count one.
Caleb Leramo, the police prosecutor, had told the court that Suberu and others at large committed the offence between March and November 2020 in Odo via Ado-Ekiti.
Leramo said the convict conspired together with others at large to commit a felony on count one.
He said the convict, without the authority of the community, sold the property of one Ezekiel Akande, without lawful title and selling a property on count two.
He said that he was accused of knowing that the land had previously been sold to one Ezekiel Akande of Odo community since 2006 on count three.
According to him, the offences contravened sections 9(c) of Ekiti state property protection (Anti land grabbing aw) 2019.
The police prosecutor proved and established the guilt of the case against Suberu by calling five witnesses to prove the case.
“The witnesses in their cogent, direct and concise evidence proved that Mr Akande, a United States of America-based Nigerian, had bought a parcel of land at Odo via Ado-Ekiti, sometime in 2006.
“He purchased the land through his brother, Mr Oluwasola Akande, who represented him to uproot the trees and palm trees, as well as clear the land,” he said.
The prosecution tendered the receipt for the sales of the land through Oluwasola Akande, which was marked evidence exhibit A.
He said the receipt was issued by the head and secretary of the community, Tayo Adeola and Kunle Atoki, respectively, written as a receipt issued by the Odo community development union together with an affidavit of ownership deposed to by the duo.
Furthermore, evidence revealed that the defendant is not a member of Edemorun family, who owns the land but resold the land and destroyed all they have done on it laying claim that it was his father’s property.
The prosecution established that the defendant was not yet a chief as of the time the land was sold.
However, when he committed the offence, he had sold 10 out of 24 plots when measured.