Land dispute: Court saves monarch from arrest

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A Lagos High Court sitting at Tarawa Balewa Sqiare has barred the Inspector-General of Police Alkali Baba from ordering the arrest of the Elegushi of Ikate kingdom, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, over a land dispute.

 

Justice Gafar Safari ruled that the order subsists pending the hearing and determination of a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed.

The judge made the order in a suit by the monarch and two members of the Elegushi royal family – Chief Abdulahi Elegushi and Prince Akeem Elegushi – accusing the defendants of harassment, manhunt and attempt to arrest them over a civil land matter.

Joined alongside the IGP are Bela Vista Property and Development Company Ltd; Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf; DSP Ibrahim Agu; one Supol Udofia and the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice as the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents, respectively.

The royal family have also accused the monarch of an alleged plot to grab land belonging to the family at the Eti-Osa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The applicants alleged that while the suit is pending, the defendants resorted to self-help, including by detailing mobile police officers from Mopol 46 to the land with instruction to arrest any member of the Elegushi royal family found anywhere on or near the ground.

They further accused the police IG of forging a police report presented to the court ceding the ownership of their land to Bela Vista property.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, the monarch and his co-applicants, through their lawyer, Mrs Adepeju Omotayo, informed the judge that the police had sent its men to Ikate to arrest them for frustrating the case before the court.

In a bench ruling, Justice Safari ordered all the parties to maintain the status quo and refrain from doing anything to frustrate the proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

He adjourned till August 17 for a hearing.