The State High Court Ibadan, on the 1st day of December, 2021, pursuant to the slip rule, corrected and reversed the erroneous Appeal/Judgment that was delivered by the Court on the 4th day of October, 2021, in the Suit between Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde Vs Commissioner of Police.
It was reported that on the 22nd day of August, 2017, Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde, aged 29 years old then, paid Mr. Ajadi a visit at his Quarters, as an acquaintance, with a gift of a pack of Hollandia Yogout. It was not until 24th day of August, 2017, that it was discovered that the visit might have been sponsored with a mission.
Mr. Ajadi, corroborating the report stated that his cell phone was tampered with while he was unconscious and two things were missing in his tampered cell phone.
The first thing that he discovered was the delete of exhibits that were previously printed from the cell phone and attached to the Preliminary Objection on the case he had instituted against the authorities of the polytechnic of Ibadan, as a pieces of evidence, on a case precisely between Mr. Isiaka Ayinla Salawu & others and ASUP & Others. This could be the major reason for the visit because subsequently Mr. Isiaka Ayinla Salawu, a staff of the polytechnic Ibadan and a protege of the aforementioned lady admitted the knowledge of the deleted exhibits through the affidavit he deposed to in October, 2017″.
Ajadi further stated that the second thing that was discovered was the transfer of the sum of Two hundred Naira (N200.00) only and One Hundred thousand (N 100, 000.00) only respectively from his GTBank account without his consent.
The matter of suspected stealing that was reported to the Police in 2017, was in 2019 mischievously orchestrated as an alleged sexual (sic) scandal, sexual harassment, an alleged sexual misconduct by some media not Kaylinkz tv to suppress, to cover up the misdeed of the suspect, the Management, and many others involved in corrupt pratises on the campus and others who was alleged of NYSC Certificate forgery.
It was further reported that on the 25th day of August, 2017, a report of unlawful transfer, from Mr. Ajadi GTBank account, of Two Hundred Naira (N200.00) and another one Hundred Thousand Naira (N 100,000.00) respectively on the same date, was made to the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Oyo State Police Command Eleyele, Ibadan.
Police at SIB, Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan, commenced investigation immediately. When the discreet investigation of the unlawful transfer was done, Ms Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde was discovered as a suspect. The Suspect was then evasive hence the Police at SIB did not get her side of the story immediately.
It was again reported and stressed that on the 11th September, 2017 and on the 9th October, 2017, Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde, voluntarily at her pleasure, wrote two signed undertakings admitting, apologizing and promising to return the money unlawfully transferred to one Ms Esse Oluwatosin Ayanmo’s account from Mr Ajadi’s bank account .
Ms Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde was invited to the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Oyo State Police Command Eleyele, Ibadan at SIB for her own side of the story. Instead of Ms Balogun to appear at the Police Station, she ran away and evaded arrests until when she was arrested at Apete, a sub-urban settlement and very close to The Polytechnic, Ibadan on the 27th April, 2019 (after almost 2 years the crime was committed).
Ms Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde, the suspect, was eventually arraigned before the Oyo State Chief Magistrate Court 5, sitting at Iyaganku, Ibadan on the 2nd May, 2019, on three counts charges of conspiracy, stealing and defrauding. The Defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the prosecution opened its case on the 5th day of November, 2019.
The report stated that at the end of the inquiry of the Prosecution’s case against the Defendant (Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde), on the 25th February, 2020, instead of the Defendant counsel (Mr.O.F.A Adeosun) to open its defense, the Defendant’s Counsel decided on a No Case Submission.
Based on the evidence adduced by the prosecution, the sitting Learned Chief Magistrate (Court 5) in Iyaganku at Ibadan found “that the prosecution has been able to establish a prima facie case against the defendant”, which means that the Complainant has enough of evidence to support his claim.
The Learned Chief Magistrate (Court 5), consequently, overruled the no case submission on the 25th February, 2020, and the defense was called upon to defend and prove its case.
Bench Warrant was even issued against the Defendant (Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde) and her sureties, when she was again evasive, for them to show the cause to the Court for their absence for the defence twice.
*Setting Aside of the Ruling of the Chief Magistrate by the High Court*
The Defence counsel applied various means to unnecessarily delayed the prosecution of the suspect at the Chief Magistrate Court.
These means included saying that the defendant ” not abreast of the facts of the case”, the Lawyer “seeking an adjournment in the matter” and to ” have files subpoena testification on the bank…” among other means.
To the chagrin of the Complainant, the defence counsel, Mr. O.F.A. Adeosun, told the Chief Magistrate court on the 5th October, 2021, that the Learned Judge at the State High Court, Ibadan (Court 3) had upheld an appeal against the ruling by the Chief Magistrate and, therefore, the ruling of Chief Magistrate had been set aside.
Based on the judgment delivered at the High Court dated 4th October, 2021, the Learned Chief Magistrate in Court 5, acquitted, discharged the suspect and the charge against the Defendant, Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde, was dismissed.
Slip Rule Concept
Judges and the Lawyers understand very well that two courts cannot sit on the same matter at the same time, as was done in this case between Balogun Nifemi Modinat Yetunde and Commissioner of Police. The judgment of the Judge at High Court was reversed and considered an abuse of Court process, non-diligent prosecution and the desecration of the legal systems in Oyo State as the due process was not followed including fair hearing in the administration of justice.
Surprisingly, the earlier erroneous Judgment that dismissed the charge against the Defendant was corrected and reversed, as it was asserted by the ruling judge, Hon. Justice I.S. Yerima, “it is natural that human being commit error, including judges because they are not angels but men…” Consequently, the Judge at the High Court after the correction by reversion of the judgment, made an order to transfer the case to another Court for hearing ‘de novo’.