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The ongoing construction of the new Erekesan Market otherwise known as “Oja Oba” in Ado-Ekiti by the Ayo Fayose administration has been stalled by alleged theft of about 600 bags of cement and other materials by five workers at the site.

The five workers: Jegede Olusola, Faleye Sunday, Filani Oladipo, Olabode Felix and Dada Tunde were arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on two counts charge of stealing.

They were all charged to court by Ekiti State government before Chief Magistrate Idowu Ayenimo. The charge was filed against them by Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Gbemiga Adaramola.

Apart from stealing 600 bags of cement worth N1.5 million, the accused persons also allegedly stole 16mm iron rods worth N35,000, one roll of binding wire worth N112,000 and 180 pieces of marine board worth N378,000 with all the stolen items valued at N2,055,000.00.

The alleged offence is punishable under Sections 390 and 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

Work on the new market had stalled for a couple of months which had been attributed to the alleged stealing of construction materials by workers engaged by the contractor who has been in race against time to deliver the project as scheduled.

The charge sheet reads:  “That you, Jegede Kayode Olusola, Faleye Sunday, Filani Oladipo, Olabode Felix and Dada Tunde between October 6, 2016 to March 31, 2017 did conspire to steal 600 bags of cement worth N1,530,000, 16mm iron rods worth N35,000, one roll of binding wire worth N112,000, 180 pieces of marine board worth N378,000 total value of N2.05m, property of Ekiti State Government at the site of ultramodern Oba’s Market, Old Garage, Ado Ekiti within the Ado Ekiti Magisterial District, thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.”

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, the prosecutor asked the presiding Chief Magistrate for a short adjournment to enable him respond to the counter-affidavit and Preliminary Objection filed against the charge.

“We were served this morning, we thought we will be able to respond to the processes but unfortunately we are still typing stage.

“Consequent upon this, we will be asking for a very short adjournment.”

The defence counsel, Mr. Obafemi Adewale, did not object to the application.

In his ruling,  Aiyenimo adjourned the case till August 17 for hearing.

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