A former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ogun State chapter, Rotimi Onafadeji, has been charged alongside four ex-convicts for a three-count bothering on stealing, conspiracy, and fraudulent conversion.
Onafadeji was dragged to a magistrates’ court sitting in the Ake area of Abeokuta, the state capital, as a co-defendant in a criminal suit involving a land dispute.
It was gathered that there is a lingering legal dispute involving some families in the Isara Remo area of the state, where 55 hectares of land were reportedly leased to a Chinese construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.
The other defendants are Emmanuel Sokabi, Kazeem Fadimu, Owolabi Daniel, and Sule Olowolapemo.
It was learnt that the four of them had served two months term over the same matter after they were convicted by a High Court in Isara Remo.
According to Ayoola Sokabi, a witness invited by the prosecution counsel of the Police, the land sold by the defendants belonged to his grandfather, Daniel Sokabi.
As stated in the charge sheet filed by the Commissioner of Police, the land now belongs to Adebayo Sokabi, Sanya Sokabi, Jumoke Akinbami, Bolaji Aiyegbusi, Jimoh Sotuga, Oyelarin Akinbowale, and Sokabi Ayoola.
Sokabi Ayoola explained that the ex-convicts, in October 2012, unlawfully leased the land to CCECC under an umbrella name – Ondoka, Soyombo, and Sokabi.
Ayoola in his testimony before O.T. Ayobolu said the land was leased at the rate of N3.5 million per annum, for a period of 10 years, totaling N35 million.
He said he was invited to be a part of the alleged conspiracy, and he “played along to get evidence against them.
“They were paid N25 million and I advised them to make copies of the cheque because I wanted to have solid evidence”
He further alleged that the remaining N10 million was paid to Rotimi Onafadeji.
The case was adjourned till 7th and 9th April 2021.