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Monarch, four others dragged to court

*Over alleged illegal arrest, detention of two traders

By  Gbenga Akanmu

LAGOS—Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Olumegbon of Lagos, Chief Fatai Lawal, Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, the State Commissioner of Police and the Commander, RRS, CSP Hakeem Odumosu have been dragged to court for illegal arrest and detention.

The five respondents were dragged before Justice Ade Taiwo of Lagos High Court, by a plank trader, Mr. Moshood Ajibowu and Mr. Olufemi Adeoye, an iron rod trader, who are suing to enforce their fundamental rights to personal liberty, freedom of movement and respect for dignity of human person.

Plaintiffs in the suit, Ajibowu and Adeoye are contending that they were in their shops trading on 24 November 2009 when Odumosu came to Alasia, Oshodi in company of his mobile policemen numbering about 20 and ordered the mass arrest of the inhabitants.

According to them, “when we asked about the mission of the policemen, they (police) replied by beating and assaulting us, which culminated in taking us to a nearby police station where we were detained.

They said no statement was obtained from neither of them and entry was also not made in the police book against them, adding that “no offence was disclosed to us as crime, we were just stripped to our pants and thrown into the cell.”

They further alleged that they were detained for more than 24 hours and were released casually without formality of bail and sureties and without apology for the wanton and gruesome attack on their fundamental rights. They claimed that Odumosu unnecessarily harass, victimize and threaten their lives.

According to the applicants, “unless the court pronounces on the constitutional invalidity of the respondent’s actions and threat to their lives, the respondents particularly the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents will continue to victimize, harass, intimidate and threaten the lives of the applicants.”

“The first respondent wrongfully abandoned his duty and abused his uniform and office as the Commander of the RRS in the state to answer illegal instruction of the 3rd and 2nd respondents to whimsically violate the rights of the applicants.

The arrest and detention and other violations of the applicants’ rights cannot even be justified under the Police Act or any law. The action of the 1st respondent was most unreasonable, arbitrary and unwarranted.”

“The threat of the first respondent acting pursuant to the instruction of the 3rd and 2nd respondents to demolish and deal with the applicants and other persons in Alasia village if they do not vacate their shops and houses amounts to further violation of the applicants’ rights as provided for under section 33, 43 and 44 and Articles 4 and 14 of the constitution and African Charter.”

Further hearing in the suit has been adjourned till 13 January 2010.


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