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Unraveling the Alleged Assault on Oba Onibereko

Oba Israel Adewale Okoya

Recently, four defendants John Olaitan, 62; Adebayo Olaitan, 49; Adesina Liadi, 50; and Lukuman Ogunyemi, 45 were arraigned at a Badagry Magistrate Court by the police for allegedly beating and assaulting the traditional ruler of Ibereko Kingdom, Oba Israel Adewale Okoya, Okiki Ola 1, in Olorunda Local Development Council Area, Badagry, Lagos State.

Reports states that the defendants who were arraigned on Tuesday, 11th February 2020 on a two count charge of assault and breach of public peace however pleaded not guilty to the two charges and were granted bail in the sum of N100,000 each with two sureties in like sum.

Prior to the arrest of the suspects on 8th of  February 2020, CityMood gathered there was a clash between the defendants and the monarch on a landed property across the palace which led to the alleged beating of the monarch.

Speaking with the press at his palace, Oba Israel Adewale briefed newsmen of the incident that metamorphosed to the alleged assault and arraignment of the four defendants.

“On 8th of February 2020 at around 9:15am, I was in the Palace when Alhaji Arowasi Sanulola came to inform me that, a land with a court injunction stopping me and my opponents from trespassing, in a case from 2018 (Suit No: BD/9/2011/Between Pa Amos Ajose and Others vs Oba Israel Adewale) is being trespassed by my former Bashorun and some other people. And that after he (Arowasi) challenged them, Mr. Adebari John, the suspended Bashorun surfaced to stop him from challenging the people working on the land. People who see my former Bashorun will think I am involved and acting in disobedience to the court, so I went out to check what is happening”.

“Immediately I alighted from the car, challenging the bricklayer working on the land, these people just surfaced from nowhere hitting me from left to right as portrayed in a video circulating on social media. They even wounded me on the head”. The Oba Israel Adewale alleged.

See the viral video below. Source is unknown.

 

The monarch alleged that during the assault, his royal staff was broken. He reported the case to the police and the suspects were arrested and arraigned before a Badagry Magistrate Court on 11th February 2020 on a two count charge of assault and breach of public peace.

“These people faced me over a land belonging to the community but I heard some people saying it’s a site, but it is not. It is along the road. It is in front of my palace and if I fail to stop them from working, some people may snap it after completion and take it to court claiming Kabiesi has sold the land after been given a court injunction not to trespass the land”. He added

Furthering, Oba Onibereko alleged that, “One of the defendants in the case, Adebari John (Olaitan) was once a regent of Ibereko before my enthronement. When he was the regent, he served for nine to eleven months and I took over as the king in 2007. Immediately I assumed office, he started opposing me and we patched it for one year before I made him the Bashorun of Ibereko to be in my cabinet after which many of his secrets leaked to me”.

According to the Kabiesi, he alleged the rule of Adebari as the regent witnessed lots of selling and reselling of landed properties. “There is a man called Rev. King who Adebari’s brother working in Prison Yard, Ikoyi, Johnson Olaitan brought to Adebari as the regent to purchase land. Rev. King’s people came and eight plots of land was sold to him by one Adelaja family. With Adebari as the mediator, he collected money for the land but told the family to sign the document, that Rev. King will pay later and they consented to him being the head of the community then.

“Surprisingly, when he was in my cabinet, the family came to report to me that they once sold a land but they have not been paid, I queried him (Adebari) and he said he borrowed the money and said he will return it. I pleaded with the family that he will give them not knowing that he has resold the land to another person which made Rev. King to report him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). They invited him, but to avoid shame, I waded in by pleading with the community to give Rev. King another land without collecting any money from Rev. King.

“I can’t continue with such a person in my cabinet, someone who goes around undermining my integrity in the community. He went ahead selling community land and after trying to curtail him without success, I suspended him for three months. At the lapse of the three months, there was no change. However due to the pleading of his family, rather than arresting him, I suspended him indefinitely. He even signed an undertaken both at the palace and at the Magistrate Court never to sell community land nor parade himself as the Bashorun again”.

Copy of alleged undertaken by Mr. John Adebari Olaitan

Oba Israel Adewale also claimed that two of the defendants mentioned in the assault case, Adesina Liadi and Lukuman Ogunyemi attempted to kidnap him in 2017 at the old palace.

“I was at the old palace with my wife alone at night when they wanted to take me away, it was the shout of my wife that led to people coming out to rescue me. I was naked when they brought clothes for me. I invited the police, they were arrested and charged to court. But they were later discharged and acquitted.

“These same set of people came to face me on community land, thank God they made the video going viral and the world is seeing it, this shows that if I was lying in the first time as they said, I am not lying now, what they did then is coming to limelight so their secret can be revealed because the land is not their father’s land”. He added.

Reacting, a source close to the defendants who preferred to remain anonymous said he only heard about a court injunction restraining Kabiesi and a family from trespassing the land. However, he mentioned that some of the defendants in the above assault case claimed the land belonged to them and they have sold it prior to their remand in prison in 2017.

He further said that on their discharge and acquittal, they came to supervise the buyer of the land who was ready to work on it when the Kabiesi came and started beating the bricklayer, on 8th February 2020, contrary to the claims of the Kabiesi that they assaulted him.

According to the source, he pointed out that contrary to the claims of the Kabiesi that the defendants kidnapped and attempted to murder him, Adesina Liadi and Lukuman Ogunyemi, actually attempted to stop the Kabiesi from carrying out a ritual that should be observed in the day that the Kabiesi undertook in the night.

The source mentioned that the defendants were arrested and unnecessarily punished for trying to stop the Kabiesi from committing an abominable act against the tradition. Though they were remanded in prison for more than two years, they were later found innocent, and were discharged and acquitted on 17th November 2019.

The last is definitely yet to be heard about the assault and breach of public peace case involving the four defendants and the Kabiesi as the case has been adjourned to 5th March 2020 for further hearing.