The police in Ekiti on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of a self-acclaimed lawyer, Rufus Ajayi, for allegedly parading himself as a traditional ruler of Gbomina Ekiti in Kwara State.
Mr Ajayi is a native of Rore community in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara.
He was apprehended by the Ado-Ekiti Central Police Divisional Headquarters on Monday, at the palace of Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Rufus Adejugbe, who called for his arrest and interrogation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspect contacted Mr Adejugbe a few days ago over his plan to assemble about 100 traditional rulers in Ekiti for a meeting with a presidential aspirant based in Abuja.
NAN was reliably informed that he had exchanged text messages with Mr Adejugbe while introducing himself as the paramount ruler of Gbomina Ekiti kingdom in Kwara State.
Mr Ajayi was also alleged to have produced a banner with his picture in full traditional regalia alongside that of Mr Adejugbe announcing the planned meeting.
The content of the banner caught the attention of some traditional chiefs of the Ewi-in-Council, who immediately removed it and took it to Ewi for confirmation.
NAN further learnt that the Ewi immediately sent for Mr Ajayi and asked him to explain the motive behind his plan before the commencement of the scheduled meeting.
On arrival at the palace, Mr Ajayi was unable to give a satisfactory explanation on his motives for the meeting, while Ewi was suspicious of his traditional regalia.
“Immediately I saw him in his regalia with long beads and round beads like those used in Benin Kingdom, I became suspicious.
“I asked my chiefs their opinion of a Yoruba Oba using traditional beads of Yoruba lineage over crossed beads of Igbo tradition, and they all expressed surprise as well.
“This raised my suspicion on the authenticity of his status, I, therefore, invited the police to ask him questions on the genuineness of his status,” Mr Adejugbe explained.
Speaking further with NAN on the issue, Mr Adejugbe, who was disturbed, said he had asked the police handling the case to do a thorough investigation on it.
He said he had also told the police to brief him accordingly as the case progressed.
When contacted, the Area Crime Officer, Akerekan Usman, confirmed the invitation on the order of the Ewi.
Mr Usman added that the suspect had been arrested because he could not give a satisfactory explanation of his personality.
“We have officially arrested him because he could not convince us of his traditional status.
“We have interrogated him and as I talk with you, we have transferred the suspect and the case file to the Kwara State police headquarters in Ilorin for further investigation.
“Unfortunately for the suspect, I am also from Igbomina area of Kwara and I can confirm that there is no place around there that is called Gbomina,” he said.
Speaking with NAN, the spokesperson of Kwara Police Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the receipt of the suspect, the case file, and other exhibits from Ekiti Command, adding that investigation was ongoing. (NAN)