Ondo State Government has denied a report that the embattled monarch of Ayetoro town in Ilaje Local Government of the state, Olorunmbe Ojagbohunmi, had been released from the prison unconditionally.
The government said it had not ordered the unconditional release of the embattled monarch from prison, explaining that it was the court that gave ordered for his release after meeting his bail conditions.
Ojagbohunmi was arrested in January 2019 by the men of the state police command, for alleged involvement in an act that could cause a breach of peace in the riverine community.
He was then charged to court and remanded in prison custody on the orders of the court. He was however released in September. But the government said it never involved in the release the embattled contrary to a media report.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye, the government described the report as false and mischievous, targeted at portraying the state government as an enemy of rule of law.
According to the statement, the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu did not interfere in the judicial process that led to the release of the incarcerated traditional ruler.
The statement read in part, “The Government of Ondo State, under the leadership of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu strongly disclaims a publication that a monarch regains freedom after nine months in prison unconditionally.
“The state government hereby states the correct position as follows; that Mr. Ojagbohunmi Oluwanmbe and five others are facing criminal charges in case All/50C/2019 before His Lordship, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe.
“Bail was granted to Mr. Oluwanmbe Ojagbohunmi and the other five defendants on the 30th September, 2019 by the said judge at his discretion based on the merit of the application before the court.
“Therefore it is not correct that the state government unconditionally released Ojagbohunmi and the other defendants on 30th September, 2019. Bail is not tantamount to the discharge or release of the defendants.
“The publication linking the state government to the release is totally mischievous and contrary to the provisions of the Ondo State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2015 ”
The statement stated that the government would not pervert the course of justice, irrespective of the personality of those involved in the case, saying “the law must take its course.”