Bizman Sues Oba, Police Over Threat To Life, Harassment


Lagos-based businessman, Mr. Olufemi Bakare has filed a suit against the Lagos state police commissioner and newly crowned Oba Tajudeen Elemoro, for alleged violation of his rights.

Bakare is asking for a court order restraining all the respondents in the case from further arresting and detaining him based on alleged flimsy petitions over a disputed large hectare of land at Oko-Olomi in Ibeju Lekki Local Government area of Lagos state.

He is also seeking a court order nullifying an alleged order verbally issued to him by the Area Commander of Area ‘J’ Command, Ajiwe, Lagos on 20 April, 2012 and an alleged undertaking he claimed he was forced to sign by the Area Commander, banishing him from Oko-Olomi, as the Area Commander lacked the requisite authority or power to force him to sign an undertaking to vacate or disappear from Oko-Olomi village as same does not fall within the powers vested in the police. He therefore urged the court to declare the action of the area commander illegal, unconstitutional and a gross violation of his right to freedom and personal liberty.

Named as respondents in the suit are the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Area Commander Area ‘J’, Ajire Ajah, Lagos, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of Elemoro Police Station, Ajah, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro, Ola Olowu, Shamsi Elemoro and Moliki Raji.

In a 25-pargraph affidavit in support of the application, personally sworn to by Olufemi Bakare, it was averred that the respondents in the case are descendants of the late Pa Okunnu Eleku, who was the first settler in Oko-Olomi, Village, Bogije area of Ajah, Ibeju Lekki local government area of Lagos state and that the family have been exercising right of ownership on the large tract of land at Oko-Olomi village without any hindrance until Oba Tajudeen Elemoro recently became the paramount traditional ruler of the area.

Bakare averred that ever since, Oba Elemoro has been making efforts and perfecting plans to take over the land belonging to the applicants’ family by using police force to arrest, intimidate, harass and oppress the applicants’ family.

It was further averred that on 20 April, 2012, the Area Commander invited Bakare to his station at Ajiwe, where in he made statement to the Investigating Police Officer, IPO and thereafter, the area commander invited him to his office and forced him to sign an undertaking to vacate/disappear from Oko-Olowuv village henceforth or else, he will personally deal with him and make sure he is jailed. He alleged he signed the undertaking in order to regain his freedom that day.

He said where the area commander asked him to vacate was the residence and ancestral home of his family and that it was a calculated attempt by the respondents to drive the applicants away from their father’s land so that they can take over the land without recourse to court of law.

Bakare said based on the alleged undertaking, the police have been harassing him and have perfected plans to arrest and detain him despite making it clear to the police that the matter is purely a land matter and not criminal in nature and that it is only the court of law that can make such order to someone to vacate a particular place and not the police.

Consequently, Bakare is urging the court to intervene very quickly and restrain the respondents from carrying out their threat.

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