A former Chief Justice of Oyo State, Badejoko Adeniji, has ordered the arrest and detention of three guards, without trial for five days.
Mrs Adeniji, who resides at the Kolapo Ishola Estate in Oyo State, allegedly called police officers to arrest and detain leaders of the security outfit in charge of the estate for “being rude to her”.
A resident of the estate who spoke on the grounds of anonymity for fear that he might incur the wrath of Mrs Adeniji said he was compelled to speak with PREMIUM TIMES after repeated attempts to plead for the freedom of the detained guards failed.
“She told us that the security officer was rude to her and that she will deal with him mercilessly,” the source said.
Mrs Adeniji served Oyo State from 2009 to 2014.
According to the source, trouble began when an ‘escaped criminal’ was found loitering around the neighbourhood.
“On June 21, at about 8.30 a.m. the Chief Security Officer of our estate called me on phone to inform me that they had arrested an ex-convict who was loitering in the area. We discussed about how best to ensure that the ex-convict is apprehended and taken out of the estate. At about 12 p.m., I received a distress call from him that the former CJ of Oyo State is by the main gate with men of SARS to arrest him and some other guards,” the source said.
“Immediately, I ended the call and put calls through. A number of us went to the former CJ’s residence to see what was happening. When we got there, we met the former CJ vowing to deal with the guards and any other person who tries to interfere. She said she will not listen to the pleas of anybody.”
The source said they met other people at the residence of Ms Adeniji who pleaded to no avail.
“She did not allow any of us to speak with the CSO. She insisted that the guards be taken away and locked up by men of SARS. She swore that she will get the boys locked up for as long as she desires so that they (guards) will know and appreciate who she is and her position in the state,” the source added.
He said it was after the intervention of a lawyer who was able to speak with the detained guards that they got “a clear picture of what happened”.
“The lawyer was the one that explained the true state of things to us. We found out that the escaped criminal was actually trying to run away from the security guards when he jumped into the former CJ’s compound. From there he managed to escape.
“When the former CJ came, she asked all the security officers to wait with her so that she called the men of SARs. My friend, the CSO, told her that his wife was in a critical condition and that he had to go and see her. That was what infuriated the former CJ. Suddenly, she asked the men of SARs to arrest and detain the CSO and the two other guards.
“A lot of people including a judge joined us in pleading with her, that since the guards are not the same as the escaped criminals, she should be merciful. But she refused. Even when we pleaded with the security operatives to release them, they said they can only do that on her (judge’s) orders. However several attempts to speak with her on the matter has been non-productive,” the source said.
He added that since the guards were arrested, about 5000 residents of the estate have been left without any security.
“The worst part is that she did not charge them for any crime. She just had them locked up.”
The spokesperson for the Oyo State Police Command, Kunle Ajisobutu, could not be reached as at the time of filing in this report. Mr Ajisoutu neither picked nor returned calls put through to his phone line.
Meanwhile, Mrs Adeniji confirmed that she had the guards arrested, and detained explaining that “the matter was a serious one”.
“It is a serious matter. Now the criminal knows how to go about it, if he wants to come to my house again,” she said.
Asked why the guards were not released within the constitutionally stipulated period of two days, Mrs Adeniji said she is not in charge of their release.
“Has anyone made an attempt to ensure their release? The matter is under investigation. If they claim that it is only on my orders that they will be released, let them come and I will make the order. I booked an appointment with them (residents) but I have not seen them,” Mrs Adeniji said.
She accused the guards of being responsible for the criminal’s escape and for neglecting their duty.
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