Justice AbdulAziz Anka, of a Federal High Court, Lagos, today, ordered Chief Olajide Ikuforuji, the Balogun of Epe Kingdom, to prepare for his defence over alleged forgery case leveled against him by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of 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 charges bordering on a two count-charge of alleged forgery.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge, and admitted to bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety.
In the course of the trial, Ikuforiji, filed the no-case-submission, wherein he contested that the court lack jurisdiction 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 tried 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 explained. 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 of forging 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 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.