June 21, 2024

 

In a bid to curb the menace of felling economic trees with the aim of replacing the trees with cocoa plantation in Government Reserve forest, three suspects were arrested and arraigned on Tuesday before a magistrate court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, for allegedly entering the government forest reserves illegally, maliciously damaging and felling economic trees being the property of Osun State Government.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Moses Faremi from the Department of Public Prosecution, Osun State Ministry of Justice told the court that the damaged trees was valued at N3,000,000.

The suspects, Emmanuel Igwe, Emmanuel Friday and Sulaimon Aliyu were arraigned on a three count charge of illegally entering government forest reserves and unlawfully damaging and felling of economic trees replacing it with planting of cocoa seedlings in gazetted forest reserves.

The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the counts.

According to the charge sheet, Emmanuel Igwe, Emmanuel Friday and Sulaimon Aliyu committed the offence on 19th day of May, 2023, at Shasha Forestry Reserve, Area 4, in the Osogbo Magisterial District.

The charge sheet reads:
“COUNT I: That you Emmanuel Igwe, Emmanuel Friday and Sulaimon Aliyu on the 19th day of May 2023 at Shasha Forest Reserve, Area 4, in the Osogbo Magisterial District, illegally entered Government Forest Reserves and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 42(g) of the Forestry Laws of Osun State, 2002.

“COUNT II:-That you Emmanuel Igwe, Emmanuel Friday and Sulaimon Aliyu at the same date and time
in the aforementioned Magisterial District , maliciously damaged economic trees worth One Million, Five Hundred Thousand (1,500,000) which is the property of Osun State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 81 of the Criminal Code Laws of Osun State, 2002”.

“COUNT III: That you Emmanuel Igwe, Emmanuel Friday and Sulaimon Aliyu, at the same date and time
in the same Magisterial District illegally fell economic trees worth One Million, Five Hundred Thousand (#1,500,000) which is the property of Osun State Government and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 44(4) Cap. 46, Laws of Osun State, 2002”.

Magistrate Abike Oyindamola Daramola remanded the defendants to Ilesha prison till the next adjourned date. The case was adjourned to June 13, 2023.

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