Premises of a Customary Court on Quarry Road, Abeokuta, literally became a theatre of war yesterday as policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) clashed over a case involving the Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi.
Fight broke out between the police and the NSCDC officials as the court ended the 10-yearold relationship between the speaker and his former lover, Iyabo Adedotun. In the melee, an NSCDC officer had his uniform torn into shreds by policemen bent on executing the court judgement.
It was after the court delivered judgement in a case brought against Adekunbi, by Adedotun over the custody of their child. It was learnt that Adedotun, who is also an NSCDC official, had filed a suit alleging threat to her life by the speaker and also accused the defendant of preventing her from marrying another person.
She also claimed that Adekunbi was not meeting up to his responsibilities on the daughter, Samiat, produced by their relationship.
But at the court sitting yesterday, the three-man panel led by Mr. Adeosun granted the prayers of the speaker and ordered that the child be returned to his custody.
The court also set aside their relationship, which had lasted for 10 years, while ruling that all parties to the case should be free to marry any person of their choice henceforth. Immediately the judgement was delivered, the plaintiff reportedly engaged in altercation with court officials, alleging that they were compromised by the speaker.
After Adekunbi left the scene, Adedotun and an unidentified NSCDC officer who had accompanied her, attempted to stop the court officials from handing over the child to the speaker’s family members.
Sources said a police officer within the court premises invited his colleagues, including operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) while the NSCDC officers also contacted their colleagues who subsequently stormed the court.
There was commotion when the policemen attempted to arrest one of the NSCDC officials for daring to obstruct the execution of the court judgement and they fired several gunshots to scare away the crowd which surged to the court premises.
After heated argument and intervention, the policemen succeeded in whisking away the NSCDC official. Reacting to the incident, the Special Assistant on Media to the speaker, Waheed Akinola, absolved his boss of any blame.
He said the policemen involved were not the ones attached to the speaker or the House of Assembly. Akinola said, in a statement made available to reporters in Abeokuta, that Adekunbi had left the scene long before the ugly development.