This is a report of the thirty-second public hearing of the Oyo State 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: Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:36am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.
Petitions for Mention at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. Case No. OYJPPB/008
Idris Sholola v Nigeria Police, Ogbomoso Command. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.
Mrs Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel said that the matter had appeared for the third time today and the petitioner was never present on the three occasions. She said that the petition was written by a legal counsel on behalf of the petitioner and when she reached out to the counsel yesterday, he promised that one of his counsels would appear before the panel alongside the petitioner. She however said that she could not explain the reasons for the absence.
Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel said that he was served and had filed a response to the petition. He also said that he would like the petition to proceed to hearing.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 22, 2021 for definite hearing.
2. Case No. OYJPPB/075
Mrs Oluwatoyin Oseni v The Nigeria Police, Ikeja Police Command and the Inspector-General of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Temitope Adesiyan (Esq.). The first respondent was absent and was not represented while Mr M. A. Ojeah appeared on behalf of the second respondent.
Temitope Adesiyan (Esq.), the petitioner’s counsel apologised for the absence of her client who was present before the commencement of the sitting, but had to leave due to a phone call she got from work.
At the last adjourned date, the Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the panel’s counsel to go along with Mr Ojeah to the SARS office at Dugbe to confirm if the petitioner’s car is still within the premises of the force. However, Mrs Ogundele said that she was not able to go because they have not been able to find a convenient time to do so.
Therefore, the Oyo State Judicial Panel decided to go to SARS office at Dugbe in company of Mr Ojeah and the petitioner’s counsel and husband, to confirm if the car which is the subject of the petition, is within the premises.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 28, 2021 for hearing and to take the report of the respondent on the progress recorded in locating the car.
Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
3. Case No. OYJPPB/001
The Families of Jimoh Isiaq, Ganiyu Moshood, Taiwo Adeoye and Pelumi Olatunji v Nigeria Police Area Command, Owode, Ogbomoso. The families were present and were represented by counsels- Hussein Afolabi (Esq.), Olaniran Akinwunmi (Esq.) and Olusegun Kofoworola (Esq.). The respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The family of Jimoh Isiaq was represented by Atanda Jimoh, Qazeem Jimoh and Jimoh Waliyat. The family of Ganiyu Moshood was represented by Ganiyu Amuda, and Ganiyu Lawal. The family of Taiwo Adeoye was represented by Adeyemi Adeoye and Timothy Adeoye while Pelumi Olatunji was represented by Oluwole Areo and Toyin Matthew.
Mr Ojeah told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he wasn’t served with the evidences in the submitted petition and the panel ordered that the photocopies of the evidences be served on him with immediate effect.
The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Hussein Afolabi said that he would present five witnesses i.e., a member from each family and an eye witness, who are relevant to the petition, before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. He however said that only the eye witness who had been deposed on oath would appear before the panel for today. With this, the witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.
The name of the witness is Areo Oluwatobi Akintunde. He lives at (redacted) Ogbomoso. He is 25 years old. He is a student of Ekiti State University in affiliation with Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo. He said he would like to adopt the statement he made on the 2nd of March, 2021 as his evidence before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. He said that he is not related to any of the victims but was an eye witness of the incident which took place on the 10th of October, 2020.
He stated that on the said date, a peaceful protest was organised by youths in Owode, Ogbomoso and he had addressed the protesters earlier before the protest, to ensure that the protest was peaceful. He said that when the protesters got to Owode Police Station, they were outside the compound of the police station while the police men locked the entrance gate and were all over the place inside their compound. He said that he saw several armed police officers and the DPO, who was making and receiving phone calls. He said that after they had gathered for about ten minutes at the gate of the police station, they were addressed by the Chairman of Ogbomoso Parapo who also told them to take the protest back to the Soun of Ogbomoso’s palace, where their yearnings and concerns would be noted by the elders of Ogbomoso.
He said that when they left the gate of the police station and were on their way back to the Soun’s palace, several police men rushed out of the police station, ran after them and shot at them indiscriminately. He said that Jimoh Isiaq was not part of the protesters but was an onlooker. He said he stood at the front of Saja Primary School, Ogbomoso which was adjacent the police station. He said that the protesters ran to safety when the police started shooting.
He said that when they ran to safety, he heard other protesters saying that the bullet fired by the police, had hit someone. He said that a few of them decided to go back to the scene where they found the body of young man, who was later identified as Jimoh Isiaq. He said that upon finding Jimoh Isiaq on the floor bleeding profusely from what appeared to be a gunshot wound, they carried him on a motorcycle and took him to Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
He said after Jimoh Isiaq was pronounced dead, they traced his family and called to inform his brother, who later informed the rest of the family about the incident.
At this point, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Hussein Afolabi tendered four video evidences which showed the witness addressing the protesters about the peaceful protest, the police officers rushing towards them and shooting at them indiscriminately, Jimoh Isiaq standing at a distance before he was shot and the witness carrying the deceased to the hospital on a motorcycle. The Oyo State Judicial Panel admitted the evidences and marked them as exhibits. With this, the testimony of the first witness was brought to a close and the panel members took turns to cross examine the witness.
However, Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable him study the video properly.
Therefore, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 22, 2021 for further hearing including the cross examination of the first witness and the examination in chief and cross examination of other witnesses.
4. Case No. OYJPPB/007
Olayiwola Oyedokun v Nigeria Police, Bodija Police Station and Iyana-Offa Police Station. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Abiodun Akinmoyo (Esq.). Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
Mr Akinmoyo, the petitioner’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the petitioner’s absence was as a result of ill health as he is well over 80 years of age. He recalled that the panel had directed the respondent to file and serve him with the response to the petition at the last adjourned date, but he was yet to get the response.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore said that the petition had been slated for hearing and the respondent would rely on the petitioner’s case if a response was not filed before the next adjourned date. The panel further said that if the petitioner was unable to come on the next adjourned date, he can depose to a statement on oath with an attached sick certificate because the panel does not want his ill health to hinder the diligent prosecution of the case.
With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel wished the petitioner a quick recovery and the petition was adjourned till April 22, 2021 for definite hearing
5. Case No. OYJPPB/060
Comrade Segun Ogundepo v The Nigeria Police, Agugu Division. The petitioner was present and was represented by R. A. Eyinade (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Eyinade said that he was yet to be served with the respondent’s response to the petition and was briefed about the petition two days ago. He said having seen the way the proceedings were done, there was a need for him to make an amendment to the petition. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for a short adjournment date
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 29, 2021 for hearing.
Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel was brought to a close at about 3:00pm.