By Innocent Anaba
Residents of Millenium Citi Centre Estate in Gbagada, Lagos State, have dragged the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr Ibrahim Idris and men of the IGP Monitoring Unit before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, over the alleged invasion, unlawful arrests and detention of the residents.
They are demanding N250million as damages from the defendants.
Plaintiffs in the suit are the estate’s chairman, Mr. Soji Adeniji; its chief security officer, Mr. William Iyeke; a resident, Mr. Julius Babasola, and the Registered Trustees of Millenium Citi Centre Estate.
Defendants in the suit are the administrator of the estate of late Emmanuel Ashamu family, Mrs Titi Ashamu, Mr Tunde Ashamu, attorney to the Emmanuel Oyedele Ashamu family, Mr Amodu Fatai, the IGP, and members of the IGP Monitoring Unit, ACP Aliyu Abubakar, ASP Aminu Sokoto and ASP Sunday Daramola.
The applicants are challenging a September 17 invitation letter by the IGP Unit sent to Adeniji asking him to report to the IGP’s Abuja Office on September 25 at 1000hrs.
The plaintiffs through their lawyer, Kola Olapoju, are praying the court to declare that the arrest and continued detention of Iyeke and Babasola at the IGP’s office at Louis Edet House, Abuja by men of the Monitoring Unit “at the instance of the first to third respondents” is illegal, oppressive, unconstitutional, null and void.
They also want the court to grant a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, jointly and severally from threatening or proceeding against them in any manner “on the basis of the facts and circumstances culminating in the criminal complaint lodged by the first to third respondents.”
The applicants said the alleged invasion of the estate and arrests were over a dispute as to ownership of land on which their properties in the estate are located, adding that the applicants said they and 500 other landlords duly purchased their property from either of the three or more feuding families, including the defendants and are currently embroiled in civil litigations at different stages in various courts.
According to them, “while none has obtained judgment entitling them to possession of the estate lands, all of which had already been sold, and for which they obtained considerations and possess title to the respective occupants,” they have also reached out to the feuding families, expressing their neutrality, and pledging cooperation with whoever gets the nod of the courts as the rightful owners of the land.”
The applicants said they had not committed any criminal offence and are not caught up in any of the constitutionally prescribed situations that would allow for the derogation or deprivation of their personal liberties or dignity of their persons.
No date has been fixed for the hearing.