- We’ve not committed any crime’
- They must surrender – Police
There was pandemonium in Ipodo, the heartland of Ikeja, capital of Lagos State, on Wednesday, as armed policemen invaded the area in search of the community’s Obaelect, Alhaji Samsudeen Adeleye. The police also went to the homes of two other kingmakers but did not meet them at home. One of them is a woman.
The Point’s investigation revealed that the embattled kingmakers and the Oba-elect fled their Ikeja homes when they got wind of the presence of the Police in the area.
A source close to the embattled community leaders said, “When the police detectives got to the area, they did not know the exact house of the Oba-elect; they could not also recognise him.
“Immediately someone hinted him (the Oba-elect) that the detectives were looking for him in relation to the alleged ritual killings, he fled through the back door.”
As at the time of filing this report, the Oba-elect and the kingmakers had not returned to the homes. When our correspondent contacted the Oba-elect, he denied reports that he fled, claiming that he was attending a crucial meeting in a different location when the police invaded their homes.
“I’ve not committed any offence, so why should I run?” he said. The kingmakers were also said to have been attending another function elsewhere at the same time. The State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti had earlier summoned the Oba-elect and two of the king makers via a letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Point.
Sources in Panti said a petition had been written against the royal father and the kingmakers by one Mr. Balogun, who alleged that no fewer than three persons had been killed for rituals in Ikeja on the orders of the native rulers.
However, when the Oba-elect and the kingmakers were initially summoned, their counsel, who represented them, reportedly argued the innocence of his clients, saying that they were victims of political victimisation.
A youth leader, Mr. Adeshina Salako, also claimed that those behind the allegation were promoters of “a man who lost out during the selection process,” adding that the Oba-elect, who had been chosen for over a year, was due for installation by the state government.
“All they want to do is to discredit him so that the state government will not append to his choice,” he explained. However, another community youth, who would not want his name mentioned, told our correspondent that the allegation could not be without substance.
“People cannot just wake up one day and accuse others of ritual killings if they don’t have evidence. The matter was even reported to the Police, so what are we talking about? Let the Police do their job,” he said angrily.
Community sources told our correspondent that the Police had been monitoring the homes of the kingmakers and the Oba-elect, respectively, for three days and that this had created tension among the locals, especially the street urchins, popularly called ‘area boys.’
ALLEGATION UNTRUE – KINGMAKERS
Reacting to the situation, one of the kingmakers, the Asipa, Chief Titi Thomas, described the allegation of ritual killings levelled against chiefs in the community as wicked and untrue. Speaking with The Point, Thomas said it was evil for anyone to level trumped-up charges against the community before the police.
Thomas, who spoke in company with another kingmaker, Chief Adetunde Balogun, the Eletu of Ikejaland, said the allegation was only a figment of the imagination of its author. Besides, Thomas warned other contenders for the throne of the Olu of Ikeja to desist from using frivolous petitions to cause crisis, stressing that “it is only God that appoints kings.
He added, “This dimension of witch-hunting people is not acceptable at all. The Ikeja regent and kingmakers are leaders who bear the responsibility of preserving lives and properties by working hand-in-hand with government and the
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