A former chairman of Iwo West Local Council Development Area in Osun state, Tajudeen Babatunde and five others have been sentenced to four years imprisonment over the destruction of a farmland.

Babatunde was sentenced with an octogenarian man, Kasumu Arohunfesu, Sunday Ajoko, Kohonu Deboye, Adeoye Alabi and Jonas John on Thursday by an Osun State Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo.

The prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice, Mikaheel Idris represented the complainant, the Oosa Olaniyi family in Iwo, during the arraignment, said the convicts were said to have conspired with others, now at large, on or before the 16th day of February 2019, at Ayigbiri Orupekere farm, Iwo, to commit a felony; to wit damage and committed an offence contrary to the law.

He said they destroyed 400 palm trees and other economic trees valued at N10 million before burning the farm.

While delivering the judgement on Thursday, the presiding Magistrate, Abimbola Famuyide, convicted the defendants, noting that the case against them has been proved beyond any reasonable doubt.

The counsel to the convicts, Laide Yekini, urged the court to temper justice with mercy on his clients by giving them an option of a fine.

Famuyide sentenced each of the convicts to four years on counts one and four, and two years each on counts two and three.

She considered the age of Arohunfesu and gave him an option of N80,000 to avoid going to prison. She also directed the complainant to approach the court of competent jurisdiction for compensation, restitution or appeal.

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