Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Tuesday granted Mr. Semasa Kolade James, the son of a late traditional ruler, Oba Afolabi Ogungbe James, bail in the sum of N20 million following the arraignment of the Prince on two count charges bordering on the theft of N500 million.
Kolade, who was arraigned on a two-count charge of stealing and forgery, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.
One of the charges read, "That you Semasa Kolade James, in 2011 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, knowingly forged the Resolution of a company called CAJ Industrial Enterprises Limited, dated 28th November, 2011, by purporting that the said Resolution was signed by your father, as one of the directors of the company, whereas your father died on 30th January 2002, and you forged the said Resolution, with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine whether in Lagos State or elsewhere to the prejudice of any person."
The defendant’s counsel, Martins Oyigbo, applied for bail on liberal terms for his client immediately after he took his plea.
The lawyer asked the court to use its discretion on the bail application while assuring that his client will continue to appear in court for the hearing of the suit.
But the persecution counsel, Sunday Ekong, called the attention of the court to the fact that James evaded arrest several times and had also jumped administrative bail.
"We have no confidence in him," Ekong said, as he gave reasons why the bail application should be rejected.
But while giving her verdict, Justice Oluwatoyin, noted that the offense, which the defendant was arraigned for, was bailable.
She, therefore, granted the bail request in the sum of N20million on the condition that the defendant produces two sureties in like sum who are resident of Lagos.
It will be recalled that the arraignment of Kolade was earlier stalled due to the protest of defendant's counsel that his client was not aware that the earlier date has been changed.