Court stops police from arresting Oba Elegushi over land tussle

Court stops police from arresting Oba Elegushi over land tussle

A High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday barred the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) from apprehending the Elegushi of Ikate, iOba Shaheed Ademola Elegushi and two family members.

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

According to the Nation, 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.

Among those joined as co-defendants were Bela Vista Property and Development Company; Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kolo Yusuf; DSP Ibrahim Agu; one Supol Udofia and Lagos Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice as the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents respectively.

The Elegushi royal family also accused the respondents of an alleged plot to grab land belonging to the family at Eti-Osa.

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

The royal family further accused the police boss of forging a report that was presented to the court ceding 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 the police had sent its men to Ikate seeking to arrest them to frustrate the case before the court.

But the first respondent's counsel, Anthony Osara, denied the police had sent its men to arrest the applicants.

The counsel to the second to fifth respondents, Victor Okoye, also urged the court to discountenance the applicants' request for a restraining order, adding the police were never deployed to the house of the royal family to arrest anybody.

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.

The judge adjourned the case till August 17 for hearing.

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