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Iruland Kingmaker files N500m lawsuit for unlawful arrest and detention

By Mike Ojo

A kingmaker in the Oniru kingdom of Lagos State, Chief Wasiu Ogunbambi, has sued three children of the immediate-past Oniru of Iruland, for allegedly harassing him with policemen.

In a N500m fundamental rights suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, Ogunbambi, who is the Onisa of Iruland, claimed that the police harassment came after he declined to support one of the late Oniru’s children to succeed their father on the throne.

The three princes – Tijani Oniru, Ademola Oniru, Adesegun Oniru – were sued alongside their cousin, Sulaiman Oniru, and the Inspector-General of Police.

Ogunbambi filed the suit jointly with his children, Mukaila and Lateef, and seven customers allegedly arrested by the police at Lateef’s bar/carwash on August 22, 2020.

In the suit filed through their lawyer, Oluwafemi Olabisi of Festus Keyamo’s law firm, Ogunbambi alleged that over 15 armed policemen from Abuja, at the instance of the late Oniru’s children, invaded his house on August 22 and turned it upside down at gunpoint.

He said the policemen also stormed Lateef’s bar/carwash at House 21 Resettlement, Victoria Island, and arrested him and seven customers they met there.

Ogunbambi said Mukaila, Lateef and the seven customers were treated like common criminals in the full glare of the public before the policemen “packed them into a small bus and drove them for over 10 hours on the road to Abuja.”

He said they were detained in Abuja for between three and eight days, without food and access to their lawyers, before they were released without filing any charges against them.

The kingmaker said, “I believe that the invasion of my house on 22nd of August 2020 and the subsequent arrest and detention of the 2nd to 10th applicants was malicious and instigated by the 1st to 4th respondents to get back at me for failing to support the camp of the 1st to 4th respondents in their bid to produce the new Oba of Iru land after the demise of the immediate-past Oniru.”

Ogunbambi is urging the court to compel the respondent to pay him, his children and the customers N500m for their violation of their rights.

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