The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, risks jail for failing to comply with an Ibadan Federal High Court order, compelling the Police chief to investigate alleged criminal activities of the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, court document obtained by PREMIUM TIMES have shown.
Justice Ayo Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, sitting in Ibadan, had on December 15, 2014 granted an order of mandamus brought before it by Jacob Oluokun and Sulaiman Ishola to investigate the criminal allegations, including murder and bomb planting, against Mr. Adeyemi.
The allegations are contained in a March 18, 2014 petition to Mr. Arase’s office.
The petition titled: “Unprecedented criminality, flagrant human rights violations, bomb planting, gun running and unresolved assassinations in Oyo town, Oyo state” was delivered to the IGP’s office on April 17, 2014, PREMIUM TIMES understands.
The application for mandamus with the suit No: FHC/IB/CS/54/2014 was filed at the Federal High court, Ibadan, by the applicants’ counsel, Biodun Abdur-Raheem on July 16, 2014, two months after the police declined actions on the petition.
Messrs. Oluokun and Ishola, are from Isale-Oyo community with which the Alaafin has been at loggerheads since 1992, when the head of the community, Amuda Olohunosebi, then the Ashipa of Oyo land, was murdered.
But 11 months after the court gave its order, the Nigerian Police are yet to comply.
“Successive IGPs have refused to obey the order (to investigate the Alaafin) even after two letters of reminder on January 5 and 21,” the petitioners’ counsel, Mr. Abdur-Raheem.
PREMIUM TIMES obtained a copy of Form 48 – “Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court” – served on the Inspector General of Police on June 16, 2015.
“You will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison” in the event of failure to investigate the Alaafin, the Ibadan High Court warned the police boss.
“Yet, there has not been Police action despite preponderance of facts and evidence which made the court to compel the Police to investigate the monarch in the first place,” Mr. Abdur-Raheem lamented.
“We are now suing the Inspector General of Police for contempt of court.”
When contacted, Force Public Relations Officer, Bisi Kolawole, said she would make enquiry on the matter and revert to PREMIUM TIMES. She is yet to do so at the time of this report.
Her predecessor, Emmanuel Ojukwu, had told PREMIUM TIMES in February that the Police would obey the court order.
Meanwhile, Messrs. Oluokun and Ishola have petitioned the International Criminal Court “in a bid to further press for justice”.
“We write as concerned indigenes and residents of the ancient Oyo town, Oyo State, who are disturbed by the wanton murder of innocent citizens and the traumatisation of the indigenes by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, through his goons, the acts of which have remained unchecked and un-investigated by the Nigerian State in spite of all known legal processes to cause the State to do so,” Messrs. Oluokun and Ishola wrote in the petition to The Hague, dated September 9, 2015.
“So if Oba Adeyemi 111 is too big for Nigeria State to be investigated and brought to book, the ICC is our last hope to stymie the criminal tendencies of his and restore the hope that nobody is above the law.”
Among others, one of the annexures to the petitions to the Inspector General of Police and the ICC was a letter from the Oyo State Commissioner of Police to the Oyo Area Command dated September 19, 2009.
In the letter, the Commissioner directed his subordinate, that is the Area Commander, to “please arrest the situation before it is too late because the Alaafin intends to bomb the ancient city of Oyo”.
According to the letter, some of the places the Alaafin was suspected to have planned to bomb during the 2009 Eid Kabir festival day included Oloja’s palace and Isale Oyo praying ground, Sab0; Bizin illahi Estate; and Unique Hotel where Elepe Iseke lived.
Accordingly, the suspected move of the Alaafin was “revealed by top members of the Tobalase group owned by the Alaafin of Oyo”.
Of the said Tobalse group, a report by the State Security Services, claimed the group was founded by the Al;aafin “originally to oust the Baale Ago Oja, hence the location of their base contiguous to both Ashipa’s residence and the market of Isale-Oyo”.
“The group has included in their activities harassment and intimidation of perceived enemies of the monarch within the three (3) LGAs in Oyo,” the report added.
The SSS report also mentioned murder cases of a chief Rashidi Adebayo Salami popularly called Atingisi (February 15, 2009) and that of a Medical Doctor, Ogunniyi (December, 2005) who was said to have been involved in a land dispute with his former lover and later, Alaafin’s wife, Yetunde Adeyemi.
The report alleged that the murders were carried out by the Tobalase group, allegedly founded by Mr. Adeyemi.
Meanwhile, the head of the Tobalase group, Mojeed Agbaje, now estranged from the Alaafin, has said in video clip circulated in compact disc and available on YouTube, that the Oyo monarch indeed instructed him to carry out nefarious activities, including murder.
On March 14, 2014, Mr. Agbaje deposed to an affidavit at the High Court of Oyo State, sitting in Ibadan, “confirming the contents of the video CD”.
He swore “that the video CD made in Yoruba contains highlight of the various activities I engaged in during my service to the Alaafin of Oyo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111.”
Efforts to reach the Alaafin for comments were unsuccessful.
Calls to his mobile telephone failed to connect for days and a text message to him is yet to be replied to.
The Alaafin’s Chief Press Secretary, Fehintola Azeez, died last month, and the monarch is yet to appoint a replacement for him.