By Joseph Undu
Operatives of the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, have arrested a traditional ruler in Lagos State, for allegedly assaulting an octogenarian among other offences.
The royal father was also accused of unlawful possession of Indian hemp and forced entry.
He was arrested, weekend, alongside four men said to be his hired thugs.
According to a source, the Oba’s action caused grievous harm to the victim, identified as Elder Oloruntoba, who was said to be inspecting his land at Ifako along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, when armed men attacked him and his lawyer, last week.
Vanguard gathered that following the assault, the victim petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who transferred the case to SFU.
Narrating the incident, Oloruntoba said: “I got information that the Oba brought a surveyor to my land. I ran there— five plots— along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway.
“This is a land that we have Supreme Court judgment delivered by Justice Oputa in our favour of DT Elanbanjo in 1986. I have all the documents on the land and I wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC.
“The EFCC invited him and two of the EFCC men came to see the land in question. Shortly after they left, thugs he hired attacked me and my lawyers. The thugs beat me up mercilessly and I was left with a swollen mouth and a broken tooth.
“I wrote a petition to the acting Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, and he directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, CIID, Panti, Yaba, to investigate.
But the Oba did not show up as he went to write a petition to the X-Squad Unit and they took over the case.
“He told me that I am from Ondo State and I cannot own land in Lagos State. I saw it as a clear case of land-grabbing and I wrote a letter to the Chairman Land-Grabber Task Force, but nothing came out of it.
“The Oba built a house for his thugs close to the land. He went as far as sponsoring the thugs to break down the fence we erected. I had to erect another one. The thugs, in their devious bid to scare me, went to my block-moulding factory and destroyed over one hundred blocks.
“I have been living in Lagos for more than 60 years and I pay my taxes here. This land is in Ifako. I did not buy the land from him.”
Police confirm arrest
Meanwhile, the deputy spokesperson for the SFU, ASP Pauline Emmanuel, confirmed the arrests.
She said: “The Oba was arrested, weekend. He came to the station and wrote a statement. Police recovered bag of hemps in his house as four persons were also arrested alongside the Oba.
“He was granted bail and is to report in the station.”