Alleged N38m theft: Court grants Osun Commissioner, businessman bail

CourtA Magistrate Court, sitting in Osogbo on Tuesday granted a Commissioner 2 in the Osun State Local Government Commission, Mr. Olakunle Mohammed and a businessman, Raheed Bakare bail over alleged conspiracy, stealing of N38million belonging to the Majority Leader of the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye.

The duo, standing trial on a 2-count charge of charge of pretense, conspiracy and stealing pleaded had earlier been arraigned before the court on the 12th of October 2018, where they pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The charge sheet reads thus “that you Olakunle Mohammed, Rasheed Bakare and others now at large between the month of April and July 2018 at Oluago area Osogbo in the Osogbo Magisterial district did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit obtaining money by false pretense and stealing and there committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 516 of the criminal code cap 34 vol. II Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.

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“You did by false pretense and intent to defraud, obtains the sum of N38,000,000 from one Timothy Owoeye with the pretense to organising spiritual prayer to avert his death revelation; a pretense you know to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 418 and punishable under section 419 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vol. II. Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002”

“Did steal the sum of N38 million property of of Timothy Owoeye and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 383(1) and punishable under Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Cap 34, Vol II, Laws of Osun State Nigeria 2002”.

The Magistrate had ordered the duo to be remanded during the arraignment before he adjourned the case to Tuesday, 16th October 2018.

However, when the case came up in court, the defence counsel to the accused persons, Barrister Ajibade Shittu urged the court to grant his clients bail, contending that “under Section 35 (I) every person is entitled to personal liberty. The offence of my clients are bailable offence and I want to urge the court to do the needful.

He further averred that “bail under our constitution is a right of accused person except capital offence. My clients are reputable citizens of this state and won’t jump bail if granted. They have properties in this state and well known in the state.”

But, the prosecutor counsel, who is also the state Chief principal counsel, Mr. Moses Faremi objected to the bail application, arguing that “the defence counsel has refused to state the reasons why the accused person should be granted bail.

According to him, “he did not prove it to the court whether the accused persons have any ailment and he did not provide any evidence to support the fact for granting the accused persons bail.”

Delivering his ruling, the presiding Magistrate, Mr. Segun Ayilara granted the accused persons bail in sum of N1 million with two sureties each in like sum, directing that “one of the sureties must be working in the Federal Civil Service Commission and other must be a reputable citizen who is having landed property in Osun State

The case was adjourned to the 9th November for mention.

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