A man, Adebayo Saheed, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for belonging to a secret society.
Saheed was convicted on Friday by a special cultism court sitting in Abeokuta by the magistrate, Mr O.L. Oke.
The magistrate ruled that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that the 21-year-old defendant was guilty as charged.
Oke held that the evidence presented by the prosecution was tenable and therefore, sentenced Saheed without the option of a fine.
“There is no doubt that there has been an increase in the occurrence of cult-related clashes in Ogun and it is the duty of the court to send a strong message to other would-be offenders.
“I hope this will serve as a lesson and warning to others not to commit such an offence because there is no benefit in being a member of any proscribed society,” the magistrate said.
The police charged Saheed with one count of belonging to an unlawful society.
The prosecutor, Inspector Olaide Rawlings, had earlier informed the court that the defendant committed the offense with five others still at large on July 7, 2023, at about 8:30 pm in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun.
Rawlings said the defendant and his accomplices were sighted by the police behind Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic in a hidden place, chanting songs.
According to her, when they were apprehended, five of them escaped and the defendant was caught.
In another news, three farmers, Michael Abraham, Anti Augustin and Kasuwa Ahmodu, were on Friday docked in an Upper Area Court Gwagwalada, FCT for allegedly threatening to kill their neighbour with a cutlass.
The police charged Abraham, 33, Augustine and Ahmodu, 60, all residents of Sabon-Gari Wako village Kwali ,with criminal conspiracy, intimidation and defamation of character.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Abdullahi Tanko, informed the court that the complainant, Mrs Lami Bako, of the same address, reported the matter at Gwagwalada Police Station on December 19, 2023.
Tanko said that the first defendant (Abraham) criminally trespassed into the house of the complainant, threatening to kill her with a cutlass.
He said that on December 15, 2023, the second and third defendants criminally conspired and defamed the character of the complainant by telling the public that she was a witch.
The prosecutor said that the offences violated the provisions of Sections 97, 397 and 392 of the Penal Code.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defense counsel, H.J. Daruwana, in an oral bail application, urged the court to grant his clients bail pending the final determination of the case.
The judge, Abdullahi Abudulkarim, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N200, 000 each with one surety each in like sum.
Abudulkarim ordered that the sureties must reside within the court jurisdiction and must provide their valid means of identification and then adjourned the case until Feba ruary 1 for hearing.