Court remands Benin traditional council scribe, six others over illegal demolition

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Justice Mary Itsueli of a Benin High Court on Thursday ordered the remand of Frank Irabor, the Secretary to the Benin Traditional Council, and six others in a Correctional Facility over alleged illegal demolition of over 60 houses.

Uba Group

The other defendants included Oko-Oboh, Aghavbere Osawemwrnguan, Abel Oko Oboh, Tuesday Atagamene, Okechukwu Okeke and Ode Ikoko.

The defendants were arraigned on six counts charges bordering on forceful taking over of land and illegal demolitions of building at Ulegun village in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.

The Police Prosecutor, Poylycarp Odion, alleged that the defendants were involved in illegal demolition of over 60 houses worth N500 million at Ulegun community in Benin.

The charge sheet read in part: “That you did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Promoting Inter Communal War and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Forceful Take Over of Land and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That on Aug. 28, 2022, at Ulegun Community, in Benin City, in the Benin Criminal Division, you did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: malicious damage and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you did willfully and unlawfully damage about 60 houses belonging to different persons at Ulegun Community, value of properties amounting to about N500 million and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 451 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

The plea of the defendants was not taken.

The prosecutor urged the court to remand the defendants in a correctional centre as their alleged offences were grievous.

He further said the case file had been sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for advice.

In her ruling, Justice Itsueli granted the prosecutor’s request, ordering the remand of the defendants in a correctional centre.

She adjourned the case till September 15. (NAN)