The Police, on Tuesday, arraigned two officials of Oyo State government before an Iwo-Road Chief Magistrates’ Court, Ibadan, for allegedly stealing and selling 40 bags of sugar from the state’s COVID-19 palliatives.
The defendants are a 50-year-old driver, Adebiyi Azeez, and Sunday Akinleye, a 43-year-old Assistant Protocol Officer in charge of palliatives at the Ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants were charged alongside a trader, one Kafayat Babalola, for allegedly receiving and buying the stolen items.
The defendants are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen goods.
The Prosecutor, ASP Sunday Ogunremi, told the court that Adebiyi and Akinleye conspired to commit the offences.
Ogunremi said: “Adebiyi and Akinleye, stole 40 bags of Dangote Sugar, valued at N60,000, being COVID-19 palliatives and property of Oyo State government.
“The duo of Adebiyi and Akinleye used the official vehicle of the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs to convey the goods to the buyer.
“The third defendant, Mrs Kafayat Babalola, a trader at Agbeni Market, Ibadan, received the 40 bags of sugar, knowing full well that they were not for sale, being property of the state government,” said Ogunremi.
He said that the offence contravened Sections 516, 390 (9) and 427 of the Criminal Code of Oyo State, 2000.
Ogunremi stated that the offence was committed on Dec. 30, 2020 at the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs, Secretariat, Ibadan.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Oladiran, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N20,000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.
Oladiran, thereafter, adjourned the matter till Feb. 8, for hearing.