HORA Decries Alleged Illegal Detention of Staff by Police

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The Management of House Owners and Residents Association (HORA) of 1004 Estate, Victoria Island Lagos has condemned what it called the wrongful arrest and illegal detention of its Operations Manager , Mr. Chris Amako by authorities of the Bar Beach Police Station for carrying out his official duties.

In a press statement by HORA’s lawyer; Mr Femi Gbenle, the association expressed deep worry over what it called the meddlesomeness of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of bar beach police station, Isah Lawal, a Superintendent of Police in what is “ordinarily a civil matter within the jurisdiction of the estate “.

According to the statement, one of the residents in the estate Mr. Olusegun Ogunleye (who was later discovered to be a Deputy Commissioner of Police, with Interpol as his last place of posting) had defaulted in paying his service charges and electricity bills for three years. After much efforts to make him settle all his bills failed, HORA management directed its Operations Manager, Mr. Chris Amako to disconnect electricity supply to his the apartment.

The disconnection, HORA said, was in line with the agreement reached with Eko Distribution Company (EKDC) the company supplying electricity to the estate- a provision in the agreement empowers the estate management to act on behalf of the EKDC on matters relating to default in settlement of bills.

It was further stated that following the disconnection of Ogunleye’s light, he reported the matter to Bar Beach police after which Amako was arrested on the orders of the DPO.

On learning about the arrest of its Operations Manager last week Tuesday, HORA Management sent legal representatives to seek the release of Amako, but he was denied bail and detained on the orders of the DPO without a clear explanation of what his purported offence was.

The association said, it was surprised that in spite of existing court order restraining the police from interfering in the estate’s internal operational matters, the Bar Beach Police arraigned Amako before a Lagos Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

“The court”, HORA said, “in its wisdom granted Amako bail on self recognition same Wednesday. Regrettably, the DPO of Bar Beach Police Station refused to allow Amako his freedom as he insisted on personally verifying from the Magistrate if he truly granted the bail. This was in spite of the fact that a release order was issued and signed by the court”.

Though, the detained Amako was eventually released in the morning of Thursday, yet HORA management has condemned the perceived conspiracy of the DPO and the Ogunleye who has refused to keep to terms of his tenancy/residency in the estate.

According to HORA, Olusegun Ogunleye who was later found out to be a Deputy Commissioner of Police, had misled his landlord at the point of becoming a tenant. He had reportedly told his landlord that he was the managing director of an oil and gas company instead of identifying himself as a police officer.

The association disclosed that the same Ogunleye has been dragged to court by his landlord for owing rent for three years.

Reacting to the allegations leveled against him, DCP Ogunleye said the allegations were spurious as he was not owing any house rent, service charge or electricity bill for three years as alleged.

According to him, his problem started when the landlord of his apartment after collecting two years rent and service charge reneged on his agreement to put the apartment in good condition as some facilities were not in proper condition.

The senior police officer said, it was the refusal of the landlord to put the apartment in order that precipitated a court action now in a Lagos Court.

Ogunleye said it was an embarrassment for him to learn from his children who reside in the apartment as he is in Abuja that the operations manager of HORA led some people to disconnect his light and tempered with other facilities in his apartment, thereby causing water leakage which has damaged many of his household items.

He said that since he did not want to take laws into his hand, he decided to report the incident to the Bar Beach Police station which in turn invited the operations manager for explanation.

It was gathered that the operations manager allegedly refused to honour the invitation following which he was arrested and charged to court for willful damage of property.