KILLER CALABASH: Power outage stalls court hearing

KILLER CALABASH: Power outage stalls court hearing

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…as landlord takes case to Council of Obas

  • Monarch seeks out-of-court settlement

Still in clear trepidation over a suspected fetish calabash left in his house by its last occupant, a community leader in the Alimosho locality of Ikeja, Lagos, Chief Sunday Amure, has gone to court to claim his unpaid rent, totalling about N433,000 and to indirectly prevail on the accused to remove the fetish item. The last tenant is a royal father, the monarch of Shasha, Oba Nosiru Ogunrombi, who the landlord alleged, had left behind the ‘killer calabash,’ a shortened broom festooned with cowries; some red candles and other objects suspected to be dangerous charms.

Amure had told The Point recently that he was told that anyone who touched the calabash would slump and die on the spot. He added that a particular room in the three-bedroom apartment had been under lock and key, noting that he was also told that whoever opened the door would be destroyed.

In a petition to the Council of Obas in Lagos State, chaired by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akinolu, a distraught Amure stated, “My house…has become a ‘house of horror’ and a shrine. Two of the rooms are littered with fetish charms, including a covered calabash containing fetish objects, a pot of black soap, a gorge charm (shere), charmed broom, ritual candles and peculiar-looking stones at every corner of each room.”

Apart from the complaint that his house was laced with various charms preventing him from renting it out, Amure also accused Oba Ogunrombi of owing him house rent to the tune of N433,000. However, all efforts made to hear the side of Ogunrombi met with brick-walls, as the royal father, in many telephone conversations, promised to invite our reporter without fulfilling the promise.

BATTLE SHIFTS TO COURT

But now, the battle has shifted to court, as Amure instituted a legal action against Oba Ogunrombi. Interestingly, however, the suit instituted against the monarch over non-payment of rents over a stipulated length of time, has suffered two adjournments.

The case was first adjourned because the parties were not present in court, but when it came up again for mention before Mr. O. A Komolafe, sitting at an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court, it was adjourned again to January next year because of power outage, which made the court room stuffy.

“I have instituted a suit at the Magistrate Court, Ikeja to recover every kobo that the Oba owes,” Amure said. The magistrate, Komolafe, at the last sitting, said the stuffy condition of the court room, due to electricity outage, made it difficult for him to try all the cases listed for the day.

The court registrar then fixed a January date for the hearing of the suit. Komolafe had earlier warned that he would rise for the day should electricity supply be interrupted and he rose immediately the lights went off. The courtroom then became noisy as counsels and their clients engaged in arguments about the propriety or otherwise of the magistrate’s decision.

MONARCH SEEKS SETTLEMENT

Meanwhile, Oba Ogunrombi has reached out to Amure, seeking an out-of-court settlement. His counsel, Mr. Tokunbo King, disclosed this, while speaking with The Point, shortly after the botched court session. “Both parties have agreed to settle the matter out of court,” he said.

But Counsel to Amure, Chief Shola Ojeriakhi, said his client was not comfortable with the terms of settlement being proposed. Ojeriakhi said Amure was not comfortable with the terms, which stipulated instalment payments of the house rent for a period of five months. “I want him (Ogunrombi) to pay my money at once, not by instalments for five months,” Amure also protested.

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