The royal family of Ife, the ancestral home of the Yoruba kingdom may have to rise up urgently to intervene in the ordeal of one of its own before the untoward happens and the noble name of the Royal family dragged in the mud.
Prince Adeniji Gbadebo, an Ife prince is in the stranglehold of a Togolese woman who has held him captive for almost ten years, ripped him of his properties and investment worth over N500 million and set the police after him over trumped up charges.
For days, the Ife prince languished in police detention at SCID Panti, Lagos with hardened criminals without access to his family members, lawyers and medical care before he was granted bail even as the police continue to harass, intimidate and hunt him on a daily basis like a common criminal.
Prince Gbadebo’s ordeal started in 2006 when he met Florence Segbaya, a Togolese lady who was working with the French Embassy in Lagos.
Prince was at that time having domestic issue with his wife and Florence Segbaya a Togolese was a widow with two children.
They became intimate and not long after, Prince decided to move in with Florence in her apartment at Saint Agnes Street, Yaba, Lagos at the passionate request of the Togolese woman who said it would help to stabilize her emotionally as a widow, and also provide the fatherly presence for her children who were very young. Ms Florence Segbaya was once married to an Ibo man, called Mbah who died in a mysterious circumstance a few years before she latched on to Prince Gbadebo.
As at the time the relationship started, Florence was a junior staff of the French Embassy in Lagos, but somewhere along the line, she was sacked for alleged participation in fake Visa racketeering.
The matter was investigated by the Nigeria Police high command in conjunction with the Interpol where a big syndicate of criminals who specialized in high level of criminality was uncovered. The case was copiously reported by the media in 2008.
Close source informed that after her sack, Prince found a prospect that could compliment his own line of business in Florence (Travels Tours and Visas). It was therefore not difficult for him to convince her to work in his company in view of the fact they were already living together as prospective husband and wife. They both agreed on a 60-40 sharing equity of the company with Prince as the senior partner having a controlling share of 60% and Florence 40%. The Togolese woman tricked Prince to let her be an A signatory to the account, claiming that by this Prince would not jilt her in the future as she is a foreigner.
The alliance engendered good returns for both the business and their sexual intimacy. They promised each other marriage and based on this they went ahead to buy the house on Danny Estate Makoko Yaba, lagos where they both lived.
In addition to the house, they brought other properties in Canada and Togo and their business blossomed to a value of over 500 million Naira with a joint savings of about 550,000 dollars in foreign account.
The relationship however went sour when Florence started cheating on the Ife Prince by allegedly having multiple lovers in addition to the Prince. According to source, Prince caught her in the act and she confessed to the wrongdoing with a promise to stop it forthwith.
This ugly incident however caused a serious crack in the almost altar bound relationship. The once upon a time love birds now became cat and mouse under the same roof. Things started to fall apart and not long after, the proverbial center caved in.
Apparently unable to carry on as if all was well, Prince at a point decided to take the matter to the court, and also lodged the copy of the court case with the Panti Police station having realized that the Togolese woman had fooled him all the while the relationship lasted.
While the case is still pending in court, with the status quo maintained, the Togolese woman who is well rooted on the streets with a lot of friends among the Nigerian law enforcers one night swooped on the Ife prince with a detachment of the Nigeria police numbering about ten, all of them hooded and fully armed.
Narrating his ordeal the Ife prince said on the 4th of November, 2016, the police under the instruction and order of a Deputy Commissioner of police, Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, Mr. Bolaji Salami, invaded and broke into his house in the night. He said he immediately called his lawyer who told him to run for his dear life as it was late in the night and that if he was killed, the killers will be hard to trace.
“I ran as fast as my legs could carry me and sought refuge in the church. While there, I called my lawyer again and he advised me to report the matter to the police at the state CID the following day.
“I followed the advice of my lawyer when I came out of my hiding place thinking that by going to report the matter of the invasion myself, I was going to get a fair treatment from unbiased police officer. But I was wrong. Contrary to my expectations, the police turned hostile and more aggressive than the squad that came for me the previous night. The deputy commissioner of police, Mr. Bolaji Salami was not prepared to hear anything. He demanded for the title document of my house where I was living with my lover, Ms Florence Segbaya, the, accused. “
The Prince said he told him he had no instruction to produce the title document of the house and that he only came to the police station to inquire about the invasion of his house the previous night by armed policemen and to know if they acted on his order. Besides, he said he also informed the DC that he was in court with the complainant who was his ex- lover and business partner for ten years over the matter which they invaded his house for.
Without asking him for further clarifications, Mr. Bolaji Salami ordered that he should be detained and pronto, he was immediately locked up in the police cell by one Eni Ebiri, who claimed to be the investigating police officer.IPO and S.O station officer.
Prince lamented that he was thrown into a squalid and unkempt cell with hardened criminals like armed robbers and area boys for four days even as they denied him of his basic needs, like a common criminal.
“I had no access to my lawyer, I was in one dress all through, and I was humiliated and dehumanized. Occasionally when they brought me out for interrogation, it was in the office of Mr. Eni Ebiri, the station officer, where Florence Segbaya, my ex lover would be seated sharing a drink with the officer and making mockery of me”, with the Deputy Commissioner of Police, telling me, to forgo everything i had worked for as, according to the DC, Bolaji Salami, such is life.
He said on many occasions, the police promised to release him on one condition that he would sign an undertaking transferring his house at No 11a, Danny Estate Mokoko, Yaba, Lagos to Mrs. Florence Mba-Sagbaya, an offer which he said he vehemently declined.
Prince said when they eventually released him after the intervention of his lawyer and some well meaning Nigerians; he was traumatized and could not go back to the house for fear of another attack.
However when he finally summoned the courage to return to the house on the 21st of December, 2016, over six weeks after he was hounded into detention by the police, on entering the estate, they swooped on him again. This time, they ruffled him, beat up his driver and forced him to drive all of them to the state CID Panti, in broad daylight in the presence of some residents in the estate.
He narrated further; “This time around, Mr Eni Ebiri the investigating police officer asked me to take some boxes which I identified as mine, containing some of my personal belongings and documents, an indication that when they broke into my house they had tampered with my property apparently with the aid of Florence Segbaya and carted away some of my belongings.”
It is against the backdrop of the alleged torture in the hands of the police that Prince has dragged the Inspector General of Police and the Lagos state Police command before a Federal High court in Lagos seeking N60 million as damages for unlawful detention and eviction from his house.
In addition, he is seeking the court to declare that the unilateral removal of his property and documents from his house on Danny Estate and forcing him to come to the police station at the state CID to collect them is without due process, and it constitute a breach of his Right to dignity of persons as guaranteed by section 35 of the constitution of the FRN 1999 as amended
As at the time of this report no date had been fixed for the hearing of the matter, but the question being asked by people is: why would the police be supporting a foreigner in such dastardly act against a fellow Nigerian?