This is a report of the thirteenth 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: Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:28am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.
Cases at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. Case No. OYJPPB/063
Alhaji Kaharu M. Adeyemi v Nigeria Police, Alabebe Division. The petitioner was present and was represented by Olamide Adekunle (Esq.). The respondent was represented by CSP Funke Fawole.
CSP Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal, said that she had been served with the processes and she had filed and served her response to the petition. The legal counsel to the petitioner, Olamide Adekunle (Esq.) told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that she was served with the respondent’s counter this morning. She therefore appealed to the panel to adjourn the petition to a long date, so that she could study and respond appropriately.
Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 31, 2021 for definite hearing.
2. Case No. OYJPPB/064
Mr Ajani Toheeb v Nigeria Police, Ojoo Police Station. The petitioner was absent but was represented by S. A. Okwe (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole, said that she had been served but was yet to respond to the petition as expected. This petition came up for the first time on February 9, 2021 and was adjourned because CSP Fawole said that she had not been able to get in touch with Ojoo Police Station as it was burnt down. When asked today, CSP Fawole said that she had liaised with the appropriate quarters and they are trying to get the materials needed to react to the petition.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel resolved to adjourn the petition till March 10, 2021 to enable the respondent file a response.
3. Case No. OYJPPB/065
The Family of Late Waheed Olanrewaju v The DPO, Mokola Police Station. The family was represented by Saheed Olanrewaju while Adekola Kareem (Esq.) and Ajibola Alarape appeared as the petitioner’s legal representatives. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole said that she had been served but was yet to file a response even though it was ready. She was therefore ordered to serve an advance copy of the response on the petitioner’s counsel.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 17, 2021 for definite hearing.
4. Case No. OYJPPB/066
Mr Jurgen Oladimeji Johnson v SARS Dugbe, Ibadan. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a counsel. He told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he would like to represent himself at the hearing. CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
The Police Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Fawole, told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that she had been served and would react to the petition in the course of the week.
Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 10, 2021 for hearing. The respondent was also ordered to file the necessary response before the adjourned date.
5. Case No. OYJPPB/067
Mr Anishere Abolade v Inspector Dorcas, Area Command Apata. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that she had been served but was yet to respond because she was yet to identify as well as locate the Inspector. Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the legal counsel to the panel, told the panel that the petition came up for the first time on the 9th of February, 2021 and the petitioner was present. She also said that the petitioner was attached to a pro bono counsel at his request and that he was aware that his petition was slated for today.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 10, 2021 for mention to enable the Police Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Fawole, locate and identify the respondent. A fresh hearing notice would also be issued and served on the petitioner.
6. Case No. OYJPPB/068
Ministry of Public Works (Vehicle Inspection Services Department) v Unknown Hoodlums. The petitioner was represented by Engineer J. A. Ajayi, the Director of Service VIO and the Chief State Counsel, Min. of Justice; Mrs K. K. Oloso-Olayiwola. Apart from the office equipment that was looted and vandalized, the petition was also filed on behalf of the members of the public whose properties were looted during the #EndSARS protest. Some of the members of the public who were present at the hearing include:
- Babalola Yinka – Bajaj Motorcycle (the motorcycle was yet to be registered).
- Abiola Saheed – Bajaj motorcycle with registration number (redacted).
- Sijuola Kehinde Emmanuel – Amira Salon Car with registration number (redacted).
- Azeez Olawoye – Bajaj Motorcycle with registration number (redacted).
- Muyideen Busiriyu – Bajaj Motorcycle (the motorcycle was yet to be registered).
The Oyo State Judicial Panel urged the petitioner to appear at the next hearing with all the necessary documents including the receipts of purchase and registration so as to prove that the looted properties belonged to them.
With this the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 17, 2021 for hearing.
7. Case No. OYJPPB/069
Mr Kolawole Owoade v Nigeria Police Force (Defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Oyo/Ogbomoso Command, Durbar Oyo Area Command). The petitioner was present and was represented by J. D. Rufai (Esq.). While CSP Funke Fawole announced appearance on behalf of the respondent. She said that she had been served with the processes of the petition but was yet to respond.
With the approval of both parties, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 25, 2021 for definite hearing. The respondent was also ordered to file a response before the adjourned date and the petitioner was also told to file any necessary reply.
Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
8. Case No. OYJPPB/034
Mr Salami Sarafadeen v The Nigeria Police, Saki Area Command. The petitioner was present and was represented by D. S. Olabode. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent. The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and the Holy Quran was used to administer the oath.
The petitioner, Mr Salami Sarafadeen stated his address as (redacted), Ago Aare. He was a motorcyclist but is currently out of work. According to him, on the 2nd of January, 2020, he was at the Kara Park awaiting passengers when he was approached by two SARS operatives from Saki Police Station. After identifying himself, the petitioner was told by the SARS operatives that his attention was needed at the station. He was pulled off his motorcycle which had registration number – (redacted) and was cuffed with chains.
Right after this, he was ordered to proceed to his house and he was followed by the SARS officers and some people from the park. His house was searched by the SARS operatives and the receipt of his motorcycle was taken. He was thereafter taken to Ago Aare Station where he was charged with armed robbery. The police asked him if he knew one Sulaimon Mumuneen, and he said he didn’t know the person. After the police gave him more information about the person, he told them that Sulaimon Mumuneen was working for one Saka who rented an apartment from him when he acted as an agent to the property owner.
According to the petitioner, on the 12th of December 2019, Mr Saka told him to convey Sulaimon Mumuneen to a place known as the Post in Ago Aare. He said he conveyed Mr Sulaimon Mumuneen to the Post, and that Mr Mumuneen paid the fare for the trip and that was the last time since he saw him.
The petitioner stated that the SARS operatives from Saki Station thereafter took him to the police station at Saki where he was questioned about Sulaimon Mumuneen and was later detained. The police alleged that the petitioner had robbed a beer parlor in company of the Mr Mumuneen. The petitioner refuted the allegation and told the SARS operatives, that he does not know the said Mumuneen apart from the fact that he conveyed him on that day and that he doesn’t drink. He said that while he was in detention, one Mr Sola and Oracle had requested that the petitioner’s family and friends who visited him at the SARS office, should pay N500,000 for his bail but the money was not paid. Instead, he obtained the services of a legal counsel, D. S. Olabode.
On the 22nd of January, 2020, Mr Sola arraigned him before a magistrate court at Ago Aare for armed robbery and the magistrate ordered that he should be remanded in Abolongo Prison, Oyo Town. He was remanded in prison between 22nd January, 2020 and 25th August, 2020 and was released after his lawyer, D. S. Olabode, obtained bail at the Oyo State High Court.
On the 29th September, 2020; his lawyer tendered the legal advice from the Ministry of Justice before the Magistrate Court, and the petitioner was thereafter discharged and acquitted by the court. The petitioner said that Magistrate Court gave him a note to be passed on to the SARS operatives at Saki, ordering for the release of his motorcycle but the motorcycle had not been retrieved up until now.
At this point, the petitioner’s counsel, D. S. Olabode tendered the certified true copies of the following documents:
- Charge sheet with charge no MAG/02C/2020
- Order of the Magistrate Court in MAG/02C/2020 dated 22nd January, 2020.
- Legal advice from the Magistrate Court dated 20th August, 2020.
- Enrollment of order of the High Court of Justice sitting in Oyo in HSK/MISC.03/2020 dated 25th August, 2020.
- Ago Aare Chief Magistrate Court Order in suit no MAG/02C/2020 dated 29th September, 2020.
However, the Police Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Funke Fawole, opposed to the tendering of the document on the grounds that the petitioner’s did not lay proper foundations of the documents in the petition, and that it wasn’t stated in the petition that such documents are of relevance to the petition. As such, she pleaded the Oyo State Judicial Panel to reject the documents. In response, the petitioner’s counsel, D. S. Olabode, prayed the panel to discountenance the objection of the opposing counsel on the following grounds:
- The documents sought to be tendered are certified true copies which by law, counsels are allowed to tender from the bar.
- For a document to be admissible in evidence, it is right that such document is of relevance, must be pleaded and must be admissible in law.
He therefore said that the documents were pleaded in the petition and that they are certified true copies. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to admit the documents into evidence. With this, the panel overruled the objection. The documents tendered before the panel by the petitioner’s counsel, were therefore admitted and marked exhibits A-E.
The petitioner prayed the government to retrieve his Bajaj motorcycle from SARS operatives in Saki and also assist him with five million naira to take care of himself and his family because he has not been able to take care of his four kids since he was released from detention. With this, the petitioner was cross examined by the opposing counsel, CSP Funke Fawole. CSP Fawole told the panel that she had a witness to present before the panel.
Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 18, 2021 for further hearing.
9. Case No. OYJPPB/061
Mrs C. O. Uwagbafor v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was present and represented by O. K. Oyewale (Esq.). The petitioner’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he was briefed about the petition within a short period and he realised there was a need to make some adjustments in the petition. He therefore prayed the panel for an adjournment.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 4, 2021 for hearing.
The Chairperson of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji restated that the judicial panel was not set up to indict anyone nor pass any judgement but to provide succor and relief for the victims by making recommendations to the government. She further said that the government would reach out to the victims based on such recommendations. With this, today’s proceedings were brought to a close at about 4pm.