Inspector-general of police Baba Usman has directed the probe of a case of suspected forgery of a 1936 Supreme Court judgment by two Lagos monarchs – the Onikosi of Ikosi, Oba Alamu Oloyede Onikosi; and the Oba Onikoro-elect of Oruba Agboyi Onikoro, High Chief Michael Onikoro.
The monarchs, alongside Alademehin Samuel and Muyideen Fabunmi, are facing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja for alleged forgery of the said judgement.
The order for fresh investigation was in response to petitions dated June 27 and September 23, 2022 written by the principal partner, Maritime, Commercial and Immigration Law Chamber, Debo Adeleke to the IGP, on behalf of his clients, Oba Onikosi and others.
In an October 4, 2022 directive signed by his principal staff officer, CP Idowu Owohunwa, the IGP instructed the commissioner of police (CP) in charge of legal and prosecution at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, to “review and furnish opinion” on the matter.
A copy of the directive was sent to the deputy inspector-general of police (DIG), Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja.
In their petition, the monarchs and others, through their counsel, alleged coercion and harassment by men and officers of the FCIID, Abuja over landed property and in which all actors are based in Lagos.
Oba Onikosi, Onikoro-elect and others now on bail of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had prayed the IGP to transfer the matter from FCIID to CP Legal for “proper evaluation and interpretation of the court’s decision.”
They also argued that the allegation of forgery can only be proved by the same court that delivered the judgment.
In the June 27, 2022 petition, Adeleke said his clients, Oba Onikosi, Micheal Bakare, who is the Oba Onikoro-elect of Oruba Agboyi and five others, were the overlords of a large expanse of land generally referred to in suit no 117 of 1936 Supreme Court of Nigeria judgment as Odo Ogun district comprising of Ikosi, Ajegunle, Ketu, Agboyi, Ogudu, Oworo, Idera, Owode Onirin, Owode Elede, Midan Orile, Mile 12, Alapere, to mention a few.
Adeleke said the Supreme Court judgment was a consent judgment freely entered into by the monarchs’ forefathers who are overlords on the land and and the complainants’ forefathers who are the customary native tenants under the then native customary courts.
He said the judgment was further supported by another judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in appeal no: SC.205/1971 between Alhaji A.W. Elias Vs Alhaji B.A. Suleimon and 2 others.
He said the judgment is dated 21/12/1973 reported in (1973) 12 SC (Supreme Court Judgments) pages 93-110 and was published by Lawbreed Limited, publishers of Supreme Court judgments.
He said the two Supreme Court judgments were corroborated and amplified in a ruling delivered on 4/8/2021 by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo in suit no: IKD/6388LMW/2018 between Yahya Hassan Akintola and five others Vs Moyoola Ayoola Oladunjoye and six others which the court dismissed because the suit was caught in the principle of res judicata.
He said the suit was dismissed by Justice Lawal-Akapo because “the claimants in IKD/6388LMW/2018 are descendants or successors-in title of the defendants in the Supreme Court Appeal no 117/1936 who lost to our clients.
According to him, the implication of this is that apart from the Supreme Court judgment being the final decision, it was also a consent judgment by the parties which cannot be subject to any further appeal.