Police arrest, detain Lagos lawyer for client’s offence


A lawyer, Olufemi Ajiboso, has protested against his arrest and detention by the police in Lagos for an offence that was allegedly committed by his client.

Ajiboso, who said he was preparing to file charges against the police, said he was put in a cell with hardened criminals for two days and forced to sign an undertaking.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the lawyer had been introduced to a businesswoman, Mrs. Loveth Olayinka, who asked him to file a fundamental human rights suit regarding a matter.

Olayinka, after the job was done, was said to have promised to recommend Ajiboso to a business partner in the United States.

The supposed business partner, one Captain Edward Williams, was said to have called the lawyer and asked that he assist in writing a letter to a company he owed $112,000, explaining the difficulty he had in repaying them.

The lawyer told our correspondent he wrote the letter to the firm after he discovered that the said Captain Williams had been transacting business with the firm for a long time.

“We spoke on the telephone. He said he had made an arrangement to pay the firm on October 29, 2017. Based on the facts he gave me, I wrote a letter to the firm. A few days later, a policeman, ASP Sule Moses, sent me a message on my mobile phone. He said he was calling from Abuja, and he was from the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Team. He said there was a complaint against me in a case of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.

“After reading the message, I called the policeman and asked him the nature of my involvement. He said I wrote a letter to the company. I asked him how I could have been involved as a lawyer. After some discussions, he agreed that I had nothing to do with it. He said if my attention was needed, he would contact me.

“Surprisingly, on November 20, I saw three policemen in my office with one Alhaji Abdulmalik. They said I undertook to pay the money the man owed the company and the Inspector-General of Police had asked them to arrest me. I asked them to read the letter I wrote to the company and see if there was anywhere I undertook to repay any money. After a brief argument in my office, I was moved to the state police command, Ikeja.” Ajiboso said.

He explained that at the police command headquarters, he was asked to write a statement, which he did, adding that he was asked to name the person who introduced him to Mrs. Olayinka, the woman who referred him to the captain.

He noted that after giving the police his friend’s name, he was surprised that he was put in a cell.

He said, “I protested, but I could do nothing. I slept in the cell till the following day when I was brought out. They arrested the man who introduced me to the woman. The man, Prince Joseph, further named another woman, who introduced him to the woman, one Ebenezer. In all, three more people were arrested and thrown into the cell with me.

“I was arrested around 6pm on November 20, and kept in detention till November 22. Late that night (November 22), they said the IG had asked them to bring us to Abuja. I told them I was ready to follow them anywhere because I wanted to know my offence.

“But when I got some death threats, I became afraid. Some of my colleagues, who had also come to the station, advised that we should be careful. Before our release, they asked us to sign an undertaking to produce the woman who introduced me to the captain.

“I am amazed I had to be arrested for writing a brief for my client. If someone abroad was wanted by the police, can’t they use INTERPOL to arrest him, instead of such an illegal action?”

A copy of the undertaking sighted by our correspondent showed that the said Mrs. Olayinka and Captain Williams were business partners, who owed the firm N32,170,000.

Ajiboso and the others promised to assist the police in apprehending the two suspects.

The Force spokesperson, Moshood Jimoh, did not pick his calls and had yet to respond to a text message on the incident as of press time.

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