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Man seeks return of N22.9m, cars seized by police in marital dispute

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A Lagos-based medical doctor, Ojo-Adedeji Adeboye, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Adamu, to obey the order of the Federal High Court, Lagos by returning the sum of N22.9 million and two vehicles forcefully taken away from him in the course of investigation of a civil matter involving him and his estranged wife.

In a February 12, 2019 judgment by Justice C.M.A. Olatoregun, the court had granted all the reliefs sought by Adeboye in the application seeking for the enforcement of his fundamental rights. Adeboye and his second wife, Adedeji Aderemi Mutiat, had sought for the enforcement of their rights sequel to their unlawful detention by policemen attached to the Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID).

Their detention was purportedly hinged on a petition written by Adeboye’s estranged wife, Funke Ogunseye, over the allegation that the sum of N163 million Funke paid through Adeboye’s brother in South Africa for the supply of apple fruits, had been diverted.

The first transaction was said to have been successful following which the suppliers of the apple in South Africa made supplies of N163 million worth of the product on credit. She was said to have paid the money into Nigerian bank account of her husband’s brother. The money, which was supposed to have been paid to the South Africa company did not reportedly get to the creditors. It was based on the suspicion that her husband may have a hand with his brother that Funke chose to write a petition to the Inspector General of Police calling for investigation.

According to the Federal High Court judgment, while the police has the statutory obligation to check-mate crime of any kind, the same police is not constitutionally authorised to infringe on the rights of persons who are suspected to be answerable to certain alleged offences as evident in the case of Ojo-Adedeji Adeboye and Adedeji Aderemi Mutiat both of whom were unlawfully detained by the police for one month and four days.

Justice Olatoregun in granting the reliefs sought held that the police by law is not a debt recovery agent and therefore was wrong to have gone far in forcefully ordering the withdrawal of the total sum of N22.9 million at three different times from Adeboye’s bank accounts and subsequently seizing his Lexus Jeep RX 330 SUV with Registration No. KJA 632 DX, and Toyota Corolla Saloon Car with Registration No. KTU 898 EP, and unlawfully transferred same to Funke Ogunseye. The court in giving the order also held that “the powers of the police to investigate crime does not extend to civil matters of contract and domestic matters of husband and wife.”

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