Justice AbdulAziz Anka, of a Federal High Court, Lagos, kas ordered Chief Olajide Ikuforuji, the Balogun of Epe Kingdom, to prepare for his defence over alleged forgery case levelled against him by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigerian Police Force.
Justice Anka made the order after dismissing Ikuforji’s no-case-submission, filed before the court by his lawyer, Olajide Sanni.
Ikuforij was first arraigned before the court on August 17, 2016, on a two counts charge of alleged forgery.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety.
In the course of the trial, Ikuforiji, filed a no-case-submission, wherein he contested that the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the forgery case against him.
Ruling on the defendant’s application today, Justice Anka said, “the law conferred the jurisdiction on Federal High Court, to try any miscellaneous offences.
“Consequently, I hold that this court has jurisdiction to entertain the charge against the defendant and I so hold.
“With all evidence, issues and facts presented by the prosecution, which the defendant has to explain. The defendant is hereby given the opportunity to prepare his defence”.
Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till October 18.
It would be recalled that the defendant who is the Balogun of Epe Kingdom, was first arraigned before the court, on August 17, 2016.
In the charge, he was alleged to have forged minutes of an emergency meeting of the Eko Epe Forum held on October 20, 2012, over a chieftaincy tussle.
The police alleged that the defendant did so “with intend to defraud,” adding that he “fraudulently uttered (presented) a forged and false” document with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine.
The police alleged that the Ikuforiji’s act was to prejudice the Oba of Epe Kingdom, S.O. Adewale, as well as Alhaji Adio Oduola and Alhaji Tunde Bello.
The alleged offence is contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.