Justice AbdulAziz Anka of a Federal High Court in Lagos Friday ordered Chief Olajide Ikuforuji, the Balogun of Epe Kingdom, to prepare his defence against a forgery charge levelled against him by the Police.
Justice Anka made the order after dismissing Ikuforji’s no-case-submission, filed by his counsel, Olajide Sanni.
Ikuforij was arraigned by the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) on August 17, 2016, on a two-count charge of forgery.
He pleaded not guilty and was granted N10 million bail with one surety in the same sum.
In the course of the trial, he filed the no-case-submission and contested the court’s jurisdiction to hear the charge.
But ruling on the defendant’s application, Justice Anka held: “The law conferred jurisdiction on the 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”.
He adjourned till October 18.
In the charge, the police accused the defendant of forging minutes of an emergency meeting of the Eko Epe Forum held on October 20, 2012, following a chieftaincy tussle.
It said the defendant did so “with intent 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 also alleged that 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 contravened Section 1 (2) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.