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...Another Baale cries out

Posted by By TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure on 2007/07/12 | Views: 478 |

...Another Baale cries out


For Chief Ambali Bakare, deposed Baale of Ogombo village, off the Maroko-Epe Expressway, the inauguration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as the governor of Lagos State raises hope that a wrong against him may be righted. He is begging the governor to revisit his deposition by the former governor of the state, Senator Bola Tinubu.

•Over deposition by former Lagos State govt

For Chief Ambali Bakare, deposed Baale of Ogombo village, off the Maroko-Epe Expressway, the inauguration of Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as the governor of Lagos State raises hope that a wrong against him may be righted. He is begging the governor to revisit his deposition by the former governor of the state, Senator Bola Tinubu.

Chief Bakare, an octogenarian, called on Fashola to take a critical look at his travails and redress the humiliation and injustice that he suffered in the hands of land speculators in his community and the men of the Nigeria Police.

The elders of the Ogudu Oke-Oshodi chieftaincy family, including his now arch-enemy, one Shitta and nine others selected the former royal father as the Baale of the once serene community on November 5, 1995.

The 10 elders thereafter, wrote to the Eti-Osa Local Government Area Chieftaincy Committee seeking the approval for the Baale. On August 6, 1997, the chieftaincy committee issued a Certificate of Proclamation on the approval of Baale of Ogombo village.

A year after, the Lagos State government issued a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) on the Ogombo land in the name of one Shitta. Bakare challenged this at the Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Da-Silva. The result of the suit was a Term of Settlement with consensus adindem to change the name on the C of O to Ogudu Oke-Oshodi Chieftaincy Family.
Bakare declared that his quest to get the C of O written in the family name instead of an individual was the genesis of his problems.

Said he: "While the villages were rejoicing over the Term of Settlement, Shitta visited me at the wee hours and swore that he would make my reign as Baale unpalatable."
"This was the genesis of the falsehood against me. Shitta exploited every means to set the village apart. He went to the Lagos High Court to seek my removal as Baale but he lost. He also went to the Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Oguntade but he lost there too."

However, after several unsuccessful bids to remove him through the law courts, his enemies wrote a petition against the Baale and the police responded. The Baale was not only beaten mercilessly, but also dragged on the ground like a common thief caught in the act.
The police team from Lion Building, Lagos, destroyed Bakare’s household effects.

"A policeman called Yakubu gave me a slap. I fell down on my bed and blood started spurting out from my left ear," he said.
The 85-year-old great grandfather added that he suffered the loss of eight teeth, which were knocked off by the policeman and the loss of his left eye as a result of the severe slap that Yakubu gave him.
"This eye cannot see again at all," he said.
To him, the partiality displayed by the police in the Ogombo crisis was the worst injustice he ever witnessed in his sojourn on earth.

Appalled by the police brutality to Bakare, his lawyer, Mr. Emmanuel Adenle, wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, 'X' Squad, Alagbon Close, Lagos on July 24, 2001. In response, the Commissioner of Police in charge of the squad set up a team under Mr. Charles Akaya, then Deputy Commissioner of Police, D Dept.

In his legal advice, CB: 3514/X/LEG/PROS/VOL. 12/60 dated December 20, 2001, Akaya noted that there was a "Bitter Chieftaincy dispute; and tussle to have unfettered right to control the community's land and sell parcels thereof to interested buyers by the feuding camps.

"One of the parties in this case Chief Ambali Bakare, became the Baale of Ogombo village in what a faction see as uncustomary manner and some persons in the village have challenged his baaleship in court and failed and in spite of failing to have him removed in legal actions, they have vowed that he can never be their Baale.

"Secondly, Chief Bakare as Baale, wants to have absolute control over the communal land and thus took possession of the community C of O and sought, through a law suit and got judgment to remove the name of … Shitta, which the latter used on the C of O of the communal land when he was the acting baale of the village.

"However, Shitta is not taking this kindly hence the numerous complaints/petitions and counter complaints/petitions to the police by one faction against the other shrouded with apparent sinister intentions of using the executive power and the instrument of the police to achieve against each other what they were not able to achieve through their traditional/customary as well as judicial means.

"Consequently, in order not to give way to break down of law and order in the community Akaya recommended that ‘there is the need for the police to be very careful, discreet and objective in dealing with complaints and petitions from that community (Ogombo) as each faction may be trying to use any means to undo and even frame up the other."

Apparently, Akaya's advice did not cut any ice with the police as Bakare's enemies succeeded in forcefully removing him from his house and from the throne. He's latest travails came last December. Still unrelenting, they enlisted the support of a Special Adviser (name withheld) to former Governor Tinubu who based his move to remove the Baale from Ogombo on an evening newspaper's report.

The Special Adviser ordered that Baale Bakare be barred from the town with immediate effect using policemen drawn from the Rapid Response Squad (PRS) and Governor's Monitoring Team (GMT). The baale was therefore removed in spite of a subsisting court judgment in suit No: LD/364/98, which unequivocally adjudged him to be the properly selected and coronated de facto and de jure baale of Ogombo village.

In a press conference addressed by Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, he accused the Special Adviser, who is also a retired Major of "Banishing the Baale and his family from his indigenous homeland and also deposing him from the throne to which he was duly selected, confirmed and installed after due process."

While describing the deposition of the Baale, as improper, Adegboruwa, declared: "It is indeed, improper and offend all tenets of democracy to take such far reaching decision affecting a person based on the report of a newspaper and without any hearing from the person to be affected."

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.