Court discharges retiree after 5 months in prison over food debt


An Osogbo Magistrates’ Court on Friday discharged one Moses Olatunde, 55, who had been in prison custody since October 2018 for allegedly accumulating debt incurred from buying food on credit.

Olatunde, who retired from Osun State Ministry of Education as an Administrative Officer in 2017, collected food worth N269, 940 on credit from one Mrs Kudirat Yusuff, but failed to pay.

The police prosecutor, Insp. Jafani Muslim, told the court that the defendant committed the offence between June 2017 and September, 2018 at Ola-Iya Area of Osogbo metropolis.

When the case came up on Friday, the representative of the Ministry of Justice, Mr Iyiola Olajubu, told the court that the case was a simple contract matter.

Olajubu said that there was no established evidence of crime that could have warranted any approach other than a civil procedure.

“Having gone through the case file, it is evident that a simple contract was entered into by the parties.

“All the elements of a simple contract have been fulfilled, and consequently, the defendant breached the terms of the simple contract.

“There are no evidences of any crime that has been perpetrated against the complainant by the defendant other than the breach of a simple contract which should be a civil matter.

“I am of the opinion that this is a civil case and not criminal in nature.

“However, steps should be taken to ensure the defendant pays his debt.

“The defendant is, therefore, not liable for any criminal offence whatsoever,” Olajubu said.

The Magistrate O.T. Badmus, struck out the case after counsel to the defendant , Mrs Julie Olorunfemi, assured the court that the debt would be paid.