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Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 12

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This is a report of the twelfth 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, February 18, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:26am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.

Petition for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/021

Chief Tunde Mustapha v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was present and represented by Ajewale Ajewole (Esq.). After announcing the appearance, the petitioner was invited to the witness stand and the Holy Quran was used to administer an oath on him.

The petitioner, Chief Tunde Mustapha lives in (redacted), Iseyin. He is 86 years old and he is a transporter. He initiated this petition on the 22nd of December, 2020 to seek the assistance of the government in renovating his building which was damaged by hoodlums, during the #EndSARS protest.

According to the petitioner, at about 1pm on the October 22, 2020; he was at home with one of his children and some other people when he suddenly heard a very loud noise from people within his neighborhood. He went to his veranda to investigate the cause of the loud noise and saw a lot of people armed with cutlasses, axes and other harmful weapons capable of hurting people instead of carrying placards as expected of protesters. He said that the hoodlums attacked a building owned by him but occupied by Nigeria Immigration Service and the Bank of Agriculture.

According to the petitioner, the attacked building is very close to his residence and this afforded him the opportunity to see all that transpired that day, from his veranda. While the protesters/hoodlums were attacking the building occupied by Nigeria Immigration Service and the Bank of Agriculture, one of his sons, Kamir Mustapha made a video recording of what happened on that day. He said that he also saw the hoodlums cart away some properties from the building such as mattresses, fridge, official stamps, cabinets, drums and televisions; belonging to his tenants. A copy of the compact disc containing the video recording of what happened on the said date was tendered before the panel and it was marked as exhibit A. Apart from the compact disc, twelve pictures of the damaged building were also tendered before the panel and they were marked as exhibit B1-B12.

The petitioner said that after the incident, he commissioned one Seyi Adebayo and Co, an estate surveyor and valuer, to value the damage done to the building. The total value of what was carted away and the damage done to the building as contained in the report submitted by the estate surveyor and valuer, was estimated at three million, thirty-six thousand, two hundred and fifty naira (N3,036,250). The report as prepared by Seyi Adebayo and Co was tendered before the panel and it was marked as exhibit C.

Right after the submission, the Oyo State Judicial Panel cross examined the petitioner in order to get to the root of the matter. The panel asked the petitioner if he read the report, if he was aware that the report included the estimate of his tenants’ looted properties, if the listed evaluated property belonged to him, what was destroyed in his building, if the estate valuer was paid by him or by the tenants and if he carried his tenants along when he was evaluating the losses. In response, the petitioner said that the petition was read to him and that he paid the estate valuer to do the work. He said he knew nothing about the properties of his tenants as he was only concerned about the damaged windows, burglaries and the glass doors of his building and that the petition was not co-signed by his tenants.

However, the Oyo State Judicial Panel pointed out that the valuation report which was tendered before the panel did not state anything about the petitioner’s damaged house. This was because in the opinion of the estate surveyor and valuer as contained in the report, the open market value of the assets under consideration are as follows:

  • Bank of Agriculture – N1,313,000
  • Nigeria Immigration Service – N781,750
  • Mrs Nwachukwu Victoria – N941,500

Therefore, the grand total of the value of the asset as at 18th November, 2020 was N3,036,250 and this in the opinion of the valuer, means that the petitioner’s property wasn’t destroyed. With this, the legal counsel to the petitioner, Ajewale Ajewole (Esq.) made an application to withdraw the exhibit C so as to amend the summary of the valuation report. Therefore, the Oyo State Judicial Panel returned exhibit C to the petitioner for amendment.

The Chairman of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji said that the panel was set up by the government to alleviate people’s suffering by providing assistance where necessary but the panel would not do the petitioner’s assignment on his behalf. She stated that every petitioner must be able to prosecute his or her petition with due diligence because the panel would hear every petition, without fear or favour.

At the instance of the petitioner’s counsel, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 10, 2021 for further hearing.

With this, the hearing for the day was brought to a close at about 10:33am.