By: Okosun Dennis
A legal battle has been drawn as a Lagos lawyer has petitioned the Zone 2 Commander, AIG Abiodun Alabi, over an alleged illegal detention, extortion and torturing of his client by policemen attached to Zone 2 over a case also investigated by other police departments and exonerated him.
Barrister Giwa Amu in his petition dated 17th February, 2023, and titled: “Unlawful and criminal use of police apparatus by police officers of the Nigeria Police Force Zone 2 for debt recovery, unlawful detention, abuse of police office, conspiracy to bring false allegation, threat to life, demand for bribe for bail and conspiracy to scuttle police investigation” and addressed to the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Federal Secretariat, Garki, Abuja, and copied the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, accused the police of playing hanky-panky games with a case they know his client was not guilty.
His client, Barr Benjamin Amu and the entire Pa Josiah Wells family had on the 20th November, 2020, sold a property located at No 18 Ora Street, Mushin, and later renamed to No. 14, Palm Avenue, Mushin, Lagos State to one Alhaji Yekini Onibipe for the sum of N68,000,000.00 (Sixty Eight Million Naira Only).
It was learnt that the said property was gotten through inheritance from both their father and grandfather.
In a bid for the buyer, Alhaji Yekini Onibipe, to possess the property, the tenants resisted him, disputing his “landlordship” hence Alhaji Yekini Onibipe wrote a petition against the clients to the police alleging “theft and obtaining money under false pretense” against Barr Benjamin Amu, the client.
As a result, he was arrested on March 2021, by Inspector Festus Omiumu of D10 Section, Nigeria Police Force, Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos, and subsequently detained and released on bail after “an excruciating torture, physical and emotional abuse.”
The petitioner revealed that before his release, his client was commissioned to write an undertaking to pay the purchase price back to the said Alhaji Yekini Onibipe. Subsequently, after several meetings that held between both parties, an agreement was struck arriving on an amiable settlement.
In the interim, it was revealed that the Alhaji Yekini Onibipe on whose instruction, the Police Officers from Zone 2, re-arrested Benjamin Amu and forcefully made him make another undertaking to pay the total sum of N68,000,000.00 (Sixty Eight Million Naira Only).
He pointed out that his client refunded the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Fifty Five Million Naira Only) to the said Alhaji Yekini Onibipe, on the 5th August, 2021.
Apparently not satisfied, Alhaji Yekini Onibipe wrote another petition to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon Annex, Ikoyi, Lagos, leading to the arrest of his client, and demanded for payment of the balance.
Despite several investigations, the lawyer revealed in the said petition that his client was on the 14th February 2023, handcuffed, beaten, manhandled and detained till Friday, the 17th February 2023, and dragged to the Chief Magistrate Court 1 same day for an application for a fiat to keep his client in custody for 14 days at first with a view to renewing it.
This, he explained, is contrary to his fundamental human right, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
He further explained that instead of the police to play their unbiased role of mediation, they have turned themselves to instrument of recovery of fund an act being orchestrated by SP Jamiu Adetunji and Police Detective Stanley Umoh of D8 Section, Nigeria Police Force, Zone 2, Onikan Lagos, in conspiracy with Alhaji Yekini Onibipe as they have continuously be demanding for the sum of N13,000,000.00 (Thirteen Million Naira), being balance of the refund sum of N68,000,000.00 (Sixty Eight Million Naira Only)
Why calling on the Chairman, Police Service Commission to restrain the police authority at Zone 2 not to further disturb his client noted that based on the outcomes of “Police Investigation Report issued by Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon Annex, Ikoyi, Lagos, indicated that his client does not owe the said Alhaji Yekini Onibipe, as evidenced by the Police detailed and exhaustive Police Interim Report, which exonerated our client.”
“Inspite of the detailed and exhaustive investigation under the strict supervision of ACP Danko and SP Osidamen, it was preposterous for Alhaji Yekini Onibipe to again petition our client again at Zone 2, before the Deputy Commissioner of Police at Zonal CID, Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos.”
According to the petitioner, Giwa Amu is calling on both the Police Service Commission and police authorities that no fraud was committed against Alhaji Yekini Onibipe by our client.
“That one Mrs. Elizabeth Ebun-Amu who forged our client’s father and grandfather signatures to title documents, should be arrested and charged to court.
Above all, he is calling on the police that the said officers who engaged in untoward and unprecedented harassment of his client in the alleged illegal debt recovery scheme, should be sanctioned and should discontinue such spurious harassment and intimidation.