…How I was abducted by policemen from Abuja in Lagos police station – Godmother to Bank Anthony’s children
By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor and Esther Onyegbulah
A 67-year-old woman, Queen Irene Cole said to be the Godmother and Attorney of the beneficiaries of the massive wealth of renowned late philanthropist, Sir Mobolaji Bank Anthony, over the week, narrated how she was abducted inside a police station in Lagos by a team of policemen who claimed they came from Force headquarters, Abuja on the instructions of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.
The woman, a retired naval officer in the United States of America, USA, and mother of one of the children of the late philanthropist said the incident took place at the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos when she went to visit detectives investigating a petition she wrote alleging diversion of dividends and seeking protection for the beneficiaries of the Will of Late Bank Anthony.
In the petition signed by their lawyer, Kayode Fasetire Esq and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, the beneficiaries alleged that after the death of the philanthropist, his vast estates were literally hijacked by his appointed Trustees to whom his will expressly and in detail emphasized his provisions for his beneficiaries but the trustees have not complied.
They further alleged amongst other things that in total breach of trust, the three Trustees conspired to deprive the beneficiaries of his provisions for them by not assembling all named beneficiaries in order to read the will to them and inform them of their benefits and compounded matters by sidelining the family completely.
Madam Irene who spoke with Crime Guard alleged that while she was at Panti, the policemen who claimed to be acting on the instructions of the Inspector-General of Police abducted and manhandled her after which they took her round unknown places before moving to her residence where they ended up damaging her properties and arresting all her domestic staff before taking all of them to Lion building in Victoria Island for detention.
She continued: “I found myself in the most difficult situation when I was kidnapped from Panti police station where I was the petitioner and the culprits were about to be arrested. I was warned never to go near my house again and almost assassinated by a very violent policeman who not only kept slapping my personal assistant but traumatized the entire members of the family in our residence at Number 29, Okotie Ebo Close, Ikoyi, Lagos.
“One of the officers claimed that as a policeman, he will shoot my Personal Assistant in my presence and nothing will happen. I sensed that they could never be from the Inspector-General of Police. They were policemen on an illegal mission. Policemen on a mission assigned to them by whom they claim to be the Inspector General of Police sent from Abuja. I showed them the approved I. G.’s letter which we had but they seized it. ‘ ‘’They didn’t know divine revelation came when my daughter, Funmiade Bank-Anthony, the Yoruba Actor and producer announced to the world in one of her News articles that she indeed is the granddaughter of the Late Sir Bank-Anthony, but she is still a struggling actor, because none of the 48 properties had been willed to her or her siblings. She actually believed that her father ‘’The Fountain Pen King” which was a name he was well known for in those days, had left nothing for his family.
‘’Over the past three decades, three notorious individuals that one would want to refer to as fathers and a mother in Nigeria had hijacked the estate of the Late Sir Bank-Anthony claiming to be Trustees. To date, there is no evidence to this effect. Tell them to produce any document that makes them custodians, instead of giving the family their rightful dues, they threaten the family with the police. My daughter, Ms. Funmiade Bank-Anthony just arriving from her summer holiday in London a few days ago, was met by her lawyers with the good news that it had been discovered that she and her family may be one of the richest, most wealthiest Nigerians.
‘’Not only had the Late Sir Mobolaji Bank Anthony provided for his family for generations to come but he had made provisions for Nigerians in the most passionate way. He also had provided for universities, cancer research centres, motherless babies homes, for the blind, other research centres etc. He provided for scholarships to send our children to England , America and whosoever has a brilliant mind must be accommodated for the next even ten generations to come.
‘’Unfortunately in this world it is the people you think you can trust that betray you and so a great man thought he had people who would take care of his family after he slept with the Lord. The first thing they did before they conspired to become undocumented executors was to make his family believe that he left his family nothing. Whereas the main source of his income where he started building his wealth from and which he specifically ensured the Trustees to meet his family’s obligation, they demolished. Then they started paying money into their own personal accounts. Never once declared a family meeting or even an annual meeting, but they couldn’t they were not legitimate trustees.
‘’Recently, the family finally stood together as one and appointed me Queen Irene Olasunmbo Cole their attorney in fact, I stand as a mother to all my children and had their mandate to go to Panti and we petitioned for their support and they were helping us. We had reached the point where there was enough evidence to prosecute. The tree so called “Trustees” have no evidence to provide, there was enough evidence of fraud, conspiracy, outright stealing and they gave us a date to be there. I was there with my Personal Assistant when three Policemen came in.
‘’They identified themselves as; Inspector Archibong and Inspector Alabi Baba from FCID, Abuja. Initially, they told me they would have to imprison me in Panti where I was the complainant. The third and violent policemen amongst them pulled his gun and without waiting for my lawyer, abducted me to Onikan. They then claimed that the IGP had given them instructions by signal to evict me from my house. These Abuja policemen had area boys with them.
‘’ They refused to give back the approval letter we had given them from the IGP, arrested all my security men. Then they started to think of where to take me again. We have photographs of our children that they harassed Can you imagine the shock of a 1-year old boy with a gun in his face by a policemen who claims the IGP. sent him to Lagos to evict me? They told me that they have seized all the evidence from Panti and if I know what is best for me, I had better give them the copies I had with me. Every time that violent policeman man threatened me, I laughed at him and he kept bringing out his gun whether to just kill me for underestimating that ass he said he can shoot me and as policemen nothing will happen. So, I said there are too many witnesses that have seen you rough handling me. Trust me you cannot kill me.
‘’When my lawyer arrived from Abuja and traced us to Lion building, they said they did not arrest me and that they had been driving around for a few hours because the signal came directly from IGP. They just wanted to ask me questions and that we should all meet at Abuja. They kept my gardener, cleaner, washman and driver for four days without bail. Even though we have sent lawyers to bail them and indicating a willingness to do an undertaking to produce them. Worse still, one of them was convulsing inside the cell where they were dumped but nothing was done to help him. We had to get a doctor who advised that he should be taken to hospital for proper care but they ignored the advice and later took all of them to Abuja.
‘’ Meanwhile, when they received a promise from the lawyer that the IGP must hear this, they quickly dropped me back home only to meet our children in the street while we noticed that our apartments were looted and things stolen. Since then, we noticed that some private security guards wearing the inscription Bemi security company keep bringing dogs to threaten me, but will not disclose who sent them.
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‘’We are appealing to both the Inspector General of Police, kind-hearted Nigerians and the court of public opinion to please save our lives. I challenge the so-called trustees to show the world from probate of what gives them the legal right to be executors’ .And why does money of an estate keep going into their personal bank account? We have a certified true copy from probate. They should also let us know why they are selling properties that don’t belong to them.’’
When contacted, Lagos state police spokesman, Bala Elkana said he would investigate the case and get back to us. He, however, failed to get back after several calls and text messages were sent to him.