Eleventh Public Sitting of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality, Violation of Rights of Citizens and Unlawful Killings in Oyo State

Venue: The House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:15am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.

Cases

1. Case No. OYJPPB/023

Mrs Oluwabunmi Adeogun v Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Mr Isaac Asoko Ogunwunmi, IPO Ogbomoso Area Command, and Mr S. O. Oduniyi. The petitioner was present and was represented by E. A. Imomoh (Esq.) and O. A. Oguntoyinbo. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the second, third and fourth respondent.

E. A. Imomoh, the legal counsel to the petitioner, told the panel that the first and last respondents were acquitted by the court and should therefore be struck out from the petition. As contained in the petition, there was a subsisting judgement where Hon Justice Abimbola Obaseki Adejumo awarded the sum of one million naira as damages, but the money had not been paid since November 19, 2012 because the petitioner was not able to supply the account number of the police.

Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji said that there was nothing the panel could do on the issue because there cannot be two rulings on the same subject matter. However, she advised the legal counsel to the petitioner, E. A. Imomoh, to enforce the judgment as no one is above the law. She also explained that the panel lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the petition but the petitioner would be granted a long adjournment to enable the petitioner and her counsel, employ all legal materials needed to enforce the judgment.

In view of the suggestion made by the petitioner’s counsel, E. A. Imomoh, the petition was adjourned till April 28, 2021 for mention or for striking out.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/024

Mr Emmanuel A. Imomoh v Inspector-General of Police and Three Others. The petitioner was present and also opted to represent himself at the hearing. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. According to the petitioner, Mr Emmanuel A. Imomoh, a young man whom he represented was arrested and charged to the Magistrate Court, Iyaganku, but one of the charges was beyond the powers of the court. The magistrate as at that time then said the charge should be maintained and the man should be detained for a week. The petitioner applied that the man be discharged and he assured the court that the man would come back but the magistrate refused.

The next day, the petitioner filed for bail before the High Court on behalf of his client and it was granted. The young man was released after spending one night in detention. As soon as the case was called at the magistrate court the next day, the charge had been changed noting that the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the case and the man was granted a fresh bail. As the petitioner approached where he had intended to get a form for the bail application, Inspector Okon Solomon said he wanted to see him. They both stepped outside the fence of the court and Inspector Solomon arrested him right there for using a forged paper to get a bail from the High Court. He told the inspector that the paper was from his office and was given to him by his deputy, who brought a copy to the court.

Inspector Solomon insisted that the petitioner had forged the paper, so the petitioner called his principal who came to the police station in company of one Mr Akeredolu. On seeing them, Inspector Solomon promised to release the petitioner but he didn’t. After this, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan at the time, Seun Osunola, sent someone to check up on him before he was eventually released. The petitioner said that he was arrested around 3:30pm and was released around 7:20pm, so the magistrate’s office was closed. The next morning, he applied for the verified proof copy of the charge sheet in which he applied for his client’s bail and then sued the police for embarrassment and victimization.

The sum of three million naira was awarded as damages against the police in 2016 but the money was yet to be paid, because he couldn’t provide the account number of the police. Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji expressed displeasure and said that it was high time the National Bar Association did something about the issue of lawyers and the police as it was becoming too frequent and some of such inhumane treatment had been extended to judges over time. She said that the matter was not within the jurisdiction of the panel but since the issue happened in Oyo State and in the interest of peace and modalities between the police and lawyers, she urged the Officer in Charge legal to the Police, CSP Funke Fawole, to assist the petitioner to claim the money. She advised him to follow the same procedure as suggested in the case of his client.

With this, the petition was adjourned till April 28, 2021 for mention or for striking out.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/029

Mr Tirimisiyu Sulu v Nigeria Police. The petitioner was present and was represented by Oluwatobi O. Fatoki (Esq.). Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew announced appearances on behalf of the respondent. Having examined the petition, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji said that the petition was not properly drafted before the panel as the names of the parties involved in the petition were not clearly stated.

With this, the petition was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for mention to enable the petitioner’s counsel, Oluwatobi O. Fatoki redraft the petition to include all the concerned parties for necessary action.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/052

Mr Moyebi Ayowale v The Nigeria Police, Arowomole Ogbomoso. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew maintained appearances on behalf of the respondent. The Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Fawole told the panel after announcing her appearance that the policeman mentioned in the petition was unknown to the Police Force, and she was advised by the panel to file a preliminary objection.

This matter appeared before the panel for the first time on February 4, 2021 but the petitioner was absent and was later served a fresh hearing notice. Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the legal counsel to the panel, told the panel that she contacted the petitioner on the phone to inform him about today but the petitioner told her to forward the hearing notice to him on WhatsApp, which she did. The petitioner acknowledged the receipt of the hearing notice on WhatsApp but was absent today at the sitting.

The petition was therefore adjourned till March 4, 2021 for mention or striking out. The legal counsel to the panel, Mrs Ogundele, was also instructed by the panel to serve a fresh hearing notice on the petitioner and also educate him on the importance and necessity of appearing before the panel on the next day of adjournment of which failure to do so, would lead to the striking out of his petition for lack of diligent prosecution.

5. Case No. OYJPPB/053

Mr Samuel Ogundeji v The Nigeria Police, Saki Area Command. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Ola F. A. Adeosun (Esq.), Opeyemi Makinde and Stephen David. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. The last time this petition came before the panel was on February 4, 2021 and the petitioner’s counsel, Ola F. A. Adeosun, applied to withdraw from the petition because the petitioner was not prosecuting the petition diligently but the panel pleaded with him to appear today after which he would be free to withdraw from the petition. This was because his withdrawal from the petition means that the petitioner no longer has a case before the panel, which he obliged to. However, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, legal counsel to the panel, told the panel that she had spoken with Mr Sesan Adegbola, the contact person to the petitioner, and he said that he would not be able to get the petitioner to appear before the panel today but pleaded that the petition be adjourned till February 24, 2021. Having heard this, Ola F. A. Adeosun said he would like to come back on February 24, 2021 so as to give the account of what transpired between him and the petitioner right in the presence of the petitioner, for the sake of records and history because he has a name to protect.

The petition was therefore adjourned till February 24, 2021 for mention or striking out. The legal counsel to the panel, Mrs Ogundele, was told to inform the petitioner’s contact person and the petitioner to make it a point of duty to appear before the panel on the next adjourned date and that failure to do so, would lead to the striking out of the petition for lack of diligent prosecution.

6. Case No. OYJPPB/057

Mrs Mosunmola Labinjo Osikoya v Nigeria Police, Housing Police Station. The petitioner was present at the sitting but was not represented by a legal counsel. The petitioner explained that her legal representative, Barr. Akingbade Saheed Smart, was not available because he was indisposed. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew maintained appearances on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole said that she had been served but was yet to file a response to the petition after which she apologised for the inconveniences.

With this, the petition was adjourned till March 9, 2021 for mention so as to allow the respondent file a response to the petition. The petitioner was also instructed to communicate the date to her counsel.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/059

Mr Ayodele Francis Olutoyin v FRSC. The petitioner was present and was represented by J. B. Olaoye. However, the respondent was absent at the hearing. Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, legal counsel to the panel, told the panel that due to the absence of the respondent at the last sitting, a fresh hearing notice was issued and served. She said that the respondent had filed a response to the petition but J. B. Olaoye, the legal counsel to the petitioner, said he wasn’t served with the response by the respondent. The panel then ordered that photocopies of the response be made and handed over to the petitioner’s counsel.

Subject to the convenience of the panel, the petition was adjourned till March 4, 2021 for mention and to also issue and serve fresh hearing notice on the respondent.

8. Case No. OYJPPB/079

The Family of Late Tosin Thomas v Oyo State Security Network (Amotekun). The family was represented by Toyin Thomas, the mother of the deceased and also by a legal counsel S. I. Okunbor. Meanwhile, Olusola Orobode, the secretary and legal adviser to the respondent appeared on behalf of the respondent. Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the legal counsel to the panel, told the panel that the petition was appearing for the first time and that the respondent had been served with the processes of the petition but was yet to respond. In view of this, she suggested that a short date should be taken for the respondent to react to the allegations contained in the petition. However, the legal counsel to the petitioner, S. I. Okunbor (Esq.), told the panel that he was at the registry yesterday and he confirmed that the petition was a letter written to the governor which was later forwarded through the Oyo State Security Trust Fund to the panel. He therefore promised the panel that the petitioner would file a formal petition before the next adjourned date.

Subject to the convenience of the panel, the petition was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for mention so as to enable the petitioner file a proper and formal petition before the panel.

9. Case No. OYJPPB/080

Mr Eniola David Oluwaponmile v Operation Burst. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Also, the respondent was absent at the sitting. Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, legal counsel to the panel, told the panel that the respondent had been served with the necessary processes but was yet to respond. She therefore suggested an adjournment till February 25, 2021 since the respondent has two other cases fixed for the same day. Also, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji informed the petitioner about the pro bono services being provided, for petitioners who so wish. The petitioner said that he would like to obtain the pro bono services of a legal counsel and he was therefore directed to visit the panel’s secretariat immediately after the sitting, to get the name of a pro bono lawyer who would assist him with his petition.

With this, the petition was adjourned till February 25, 2021 to enable the respondent appear before the panel. A fresh hearing notice would also be issued and served on the respondent.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji brought the sitting to a close at about 11:03am.

2 thoughts on “Eleventh Public Sitting of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality, Violation of Rights of Citizens and Unlawful Killings in Oyo State”

    1. Thank you for contacting us and apologies for the late response. We will forward your complaint about the conduct of police officers at Ona Ara LGA to the appropriate authorities.

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