Traditional Ruler Battles Businessman In Court


Contrary to the averment of a Lagos businessman, Oluwafemi Bakare, in a fundamental enforcement suit filed before a Lagos High Court, that a traditional ruler, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro, is instigating police to violate his right, the defendants in the suit are alleging that it is the applicant businessman who has been disturbing their peace at Oko-Olomi village.

Sometime in April this year, the head of Eleku Family, Tajudeen Mojeed Eleku and five others including Oluwafemi Bakare dragged the Elemoro, Chief Shamba Elemoro, Ola Olowu, Semsi Elemoro and Molikiu Raji before the court over an alleged petition written by the monarch to the police to arrest them.

Consequently, Oluwafem Bakare urged the court to restrain the police and their agents from inviting , arresting and detaining them.

However, in a counter affidavit sworn to by Chief Shamba Yisa Elemoro on behalf of the respondents, Chief Elemoro averred that contrary to the deposition of Oluwafemi Bakare that the applicants have been exercising right of ownership on the large tract of land at Oko-Olomi village in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, without any hindrance, Ola Olowu who is the Baale of the village is the victim of the violent activities of Oluwafemi Bakare who, in collaboration with other applicants, brought thugs on the land excised by the Lagos State Government to their family.

The deponent averred further that the harassment has also been extended to Oba Tajudeen Elemoro anytime they find him either in the palace or on the road. On one occasion, the family bus was smashed, and the matter was  reported at Elemoro Police Station.

Chief Elemoro also averred that the Lagos State government acquired all the land from Moroko to Epe in 1981 and repeated the acquisition in 1993 but in 2007 the government vide a Gazzete dated 22 February, 2007 returned some of the land acquired from his family to them, and it is not therefore, true that when Oba Tajudeen Olowu became the Oba he planned to take over the land belonging to the applicants by using the police, rather the police were carrying out their lawful duties after a petition was written to the Inspector General of Police, complaining of the applicant’s violent activities.

It was further averred that Oluwafemi Bakare was never arrested, he was only invited by the Area Commander of Area J and after interview, it became clear that he is not a member of the Okunnu Eleku family but only a trouble maker and the respondents have always reported his activities to the police.

The deponent contended that the real intention of the applicants in filing this suit is to obtain an order of the court with which they can forcefully enter their family land granted them through excision in the Gazette of 2007.

Justice A. Oluwafemi while adjourning the matter till 25 September, 2012 ordered that status quo be maintained.

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