* It is false – accused police officer replies
By Evelyn Usman
Management of House Owners and Residents Association, HORA of 1004 Estate, Victoria Island Lagos, has raised the alarm over what it described as illegal detention of its Operations Manager, Mr Chris Amako at the Bar Beach division, by a senior police officer.
Describing the matter that led to the alleged detention as a civil matter, it alleged that it was masterminded by a serving Deputy Commissioner of Police, Olusegun Ogunleye.
However, Vanguard’s investigation revealed that Ogunleye has retired from the Nigeria Police Force.
HORA’s lawyer, Mr Femi Gbenle, in a statement issued to Vanguard, explained that Ogunleye who resides in the estate allegedly refused to pay service charges and electricity bill for three years.
The statement read: “ After much efforts to make him settle all his bills failed, HORA management directed its Operations Manager, Mr. Chris Amako to disconnect electricity supply to his apartment.
“The disconnection was in line with the agreement reached with the Eko Distribution Company, EKDC the company supplying electricity to the Estate. A provision in the agreement empowers the Estate management to act on behalf of the EKDC on matters relating to default in settlement of bills”.
The senior Police officer was said to have reported the matter at the Bar Beach division consequent upon which Amako was arrested on the orders of the Divisional Police Officer, last Tuesday.
Effort according to HORA, to effect Amako’s release was reportedly frustrated in spite of an existing Court order restraining the Police from interfering in the estate’s operational matters.
The statement further read “ Amako was arraigned before a Lagos Magistrate Court on Wednesday, where he granted bail on self-recognition. But the DPO refused to allow Amako his freedom as he insisted on personally verifying from the Magistrate if he truly granted the bail. This was in spite of the fact that a release order was issued and signed by the court. Amako was eventually released in the morning of Thursday”.
When contacted, Ogunleye described the allegation as false, stating that he was neither owing house rent, service charge nor electricity bill for three years as alleged.
He explained that problem started when the owner of his apartment reneged on the agreement to put the apartment and some facilities in good condition, after collecting two years rent and service charge from him.
He said: “It was the refusal of the landlord to put the apartment in order that precipitated a court action. The matter is in Court as I speak.
” I was embarrassed when my children called me on the phone to inform me that the HORA operation manager led some people to disconnect my electricity and other facilities in my apartment. The disconnection resulted in water leakage, which damaged my household items.
“Since I did not want to take laws into my hands, I decided to report the matter at Barbeach police station, consequent upon which the Operation Manager was invited”.