By Odunayo Abiodun:

A former Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Nkana Archibong, was on Thursday ordered by a magistrate court sitting in Tinubu, Lagos, to stop parading himself as the owner of a disputed property situated in Ikoyi, South-West, Lagos.

This order was given by the magistrate, Motolani Ladipo, after listening to the binding order application brought by the complainant, Abimbola Hundeyin, in respect of the disputed property against the DIG. The application was brought pursuant to Section 34 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, Lagos State.

There was no binding contract

Mrs. Hundeyin, a former Assistant Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), had alleged that the retired police officer, despite a subsisting judgment by a Lagos High Court, has continued to claim ownership of a property situated at No. 3 Biadau Street, South West area of Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to her petition, the property had earlier been subjected to litigation between the DIG and herself. However, judgement was delivered in her favour on July 5, 2009, wherein the court held that Mr. Archibong is not the rightful owner of the property.

The judgement further held that there was no binding contract of sale between the DIG and Union Dicon Salt, the former owner of the disputed property.

The complainant submitted that the judge, Y.O. Idowu, held that there is a valid and binding contract of sale between her [petitioner] and Union Dicon Salt.

Mrs. Hundeyin however, stated that despite the judgement, the defendant has continued to harass her over the property, “the most recent flagrant abuse of the rule of law occurred on February 16, 2010 when four armed policemen from Onikan Police Station under the alleged instruction of DIG Nkana harassed and violently arrested one of my workers carrying out renovation of the office.”

‘I am the lawful owner of the property’

However, the former DIG has denied all the allegations. He holds that he is the rightful owner of the disputed property, after having lawfully bought the same property from Union Dicon Salt.

Meanwhile, when the matter came up for hearing, counsel to the defendant, O.A. Araoye, apologised to the court for the absence of his client. He explained that he was served with court processes on Monday but that he has not been able to verify the facts of the matter from Mr. Archibong.

He then urged the court to grant him a short adjournment so that he can meet with his client and file necessary papers. The adjournment was granted and the matter was adjourned to March 10, 2010.

Further affidavit

Meanwhile, in a further affidavit filed in the suit, the deponent, Salu Hundeyin, a legal practitioner in the law firm of the complainant, said that on February 25, 2010 when the matter came up in court, the court made an order directing the defendant to appear in court to show cause why he should not be committed by the court to a binding order.

Mr. Hundeyin further held that he was informed by Alfred Uwaka, counsel to the complainant, that the defendant purposely refused to enter the court room in order to allegedly frustrate the proceedings.

Stating further that the defendant has continued to display total lack of respect to the rule of law and disrespect to lawful orders of the court, he said “this is the 2nd week that we have not been able to access our office. The defendant has continuously shown by his repeatedly acts of defiance to obey court orders that he is above the law and will always resort to self help, in carrying out his activities.”

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