BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
Lagos — Justice Morenike Obadina of a Lagos High Court in Igbosere, yesterday, gave the police go- ahead to declare the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu and her son Samson Adebisi Ojikutu wanted over alleged N130 million fraud, saying it is their constitutional duty to do so.
Ruling on the originating summon filed by the duo, the judge held that restraining the police from carrying out their lawful duty would only result to anarchy and self-help, adding that Section 4 of Police Act empowers the Nigerian Police force to prevent crime, preserve law and order and enforce all laws and regulations in the country.
Ojikutu and her son had through their lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) sought for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Inspector General of Police from carrying out any act capable of restricting her movement and interrogation on the basis of alleged fraud.
Sued along with the IG are the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Nigeria Police and one Cajetan Okekearu (3rd defendant).
The duo were said to have allegedly defrauded a land buyer of N130m, having collected money from the victim for a land at plot 24 Block 4, Lekki Residential Scheme, Phase 1, but problem started after issue of true ownership of the sold land came up.
Ojikutu, in suit No. M/58/2013, was asking the court to declare that the 1st and 2nd defendants were not empowered under any known law to interfere with any civil matter arising out of a breach of contract, adding that the 1st and 2nd defendants were not empowered under any known law to interfere with any civil matter arising out of a breach of contract.
The claimants prayed the court to declare that the said land entered into by her (Ojikutu) and the 3rd defendant, was jointly owned by her and her husband, being property of her late husband, Mr. Samson Adebisi Ojikutu.
However, in her ruling, Justice Obadina held the claimants were not entitled to any of the declarative reliefs sought by them, saying that documents and exhibits before the court revealed that the land in dispute was solely owned by late Samson Adebisi Ojikutu (her husband) and not jointly owned by them as claimed by Mrs. Ojikutu..
Justice Obadina held that the claimants were aware that there was no land to be sold as her late husband had already sold the land in dispute through an estate agent sometimes between 1994\1995 and that the 1st claimant (Mrs. Ojikutu) signed as a witness in the transaction.
“The averments in the counter affidavit filed by the Inspector General of Police (1st defendant) contained allegations of obtaining money by false pretence. The culpability or otherwise of the various allegations levelled against the claimant and the authenticity or otherwise contained in the petition sent to the police cannot be pronounced upon by this court.
“All I can say at this point is that from the affidavit and exhibits before the court, there is a reasonable suspicion of commission of a crime and the court cannot stop the police from carrying out its constitutional duty as no one is immune from criminal investigation and prosecution,” the court held.