Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 15

Table of Contents

This is a report of the fifteenth 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 25, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:18am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.

Cases at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/012

Mr Muhammed Sadisu v Commissioner of Police, Ogun State. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal representative. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew declined appearances on behalf of the respondent.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the legal counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel told the panel that the petitioner was present at the last sitting which was February 16, 2021 but was not represented by his legal counsel, as he was indisposed at that time. She said that the petitioner was at the secretariat yesterday to inform the panel that his counsel won’t be available today because he was yet to recover. She added that the petitioner was given the names of pro bono counsels he could reach out to and he was probably absent because he couldn’t get any available counsel due to the short notice. On the part of the respondent, she said the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State was served by a courier on the 18th of January, 2021 but was yet to respond.

In view of this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 11, 2021 for mention.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/072

Chief Aderemi Makinde v Oyo State Police Command and Five Others. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr. O. J. Matthew represented the first and sixth respondents.

The legal counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele recalled that CSP Fawole did not represent the second, third, fourth and fifth respondent because she could not identify them and the panel ordered that fresh hearing notices be issued and given to the petitioner, who would serve them on the respondents. She however said that the petitioner did not show up to collect the hearing notices.

In response, the petitioner told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he didn’t show up because his inside source had told him that the respondents told people around to always mark them absent, whenever such notice is sent.

Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that she had been served but was yet to file the response.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 9, 2021 for definite hearing.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/073

Mr Seye Brodiemenas v Nigeria Police, SARS Dugbe. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew declined appearances on behalf of the respondent because the name of the officer involved was not specified in the petition.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 11, 2021 for mention to enable the petitioner obtain the services of a pro bono counsel and amend the petition to include the name of the officer.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/074

Mr Babalola Kamorudeen Soladoye v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was absent at the hearing. The petition appeared today before the Oyo State Judicial Panel for the second time but the petitioner was present at the last sitting.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 11, 2021 for mention.

5. Case No. OYJPPB/070

Mr Adebayo Olayide v Inspector-General of Police and four others. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Abiodun Ogunjimi (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the first, second and third respondents. The petition came up for the first time on the February 9, 2021 but there had been a subsisting judgement which ruled that twenty million naira should be paid to the petitioner as damages. However, the petitioner was only able to claim N300,000 from the Police since 2011 and all effort to enforce the judgment had proven abortive.

The petitioner’s counsel, Abiodun Ogunjimi (Esq.) told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the petitioner was a student of Economics and Mathematics at Ila Orangun whose left eye had been rendered permanently blind by the actions of the respondent. However, the respondent’s non-cooperation had made it difficult to enforce the judgment.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel said that the petition does not fall within the terms of reference of the panel and therefore advised that the petitioner’s counsel should write to the National Assembly Petition Committee who have the power to summon the Inspector-General of Police as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and the matter would be resolved because this is a democratic dispensation.

With this, the petition was adjourned sine die.

6. Case No. OYJPPB/075

Mrs Oluwatoyin Oseni v The Nigeria Police, Ikeja Police Command. The petitioner was present and was represented by Temitope Adesiyan (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew declined appearances because the matter had to do with Lagos State.

However, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele told the panel that the petition was not accepted when it was served on the Police Officer in Charge Legal, Panti State CID because it does not contain the name of the erring officer.

Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 11, 2021 for mention to enable the petitioner’s counsel regularise the petition.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/076

The Family of Gbolahan Samuel Adedoyin v Operation Burst Team. In attendance on behalf of the family were Ishola Oluwagbemiga Ayobami, Samson Adebiyi, Akinwale Kolawole Samuel, Michael Adebiyi, Abidemi Bashiru, and Adedoyin Tolulope. The family was also represented by A. T. Onikosi (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Kayode A. Babalola (Esq.). This petition is about a young man who was killed by a stray bullet fired by Operation Burst on the 20th of October, 2020.

The respondent’s counsel, Kayode A. Babalola (Esq.) however said that the case of the petitioner was pathetic but sentiment commands no place in judicial deliberations because it will make adjudication infinitely more difficult. He added that from the totality of the petition, as well as the terms of reference of Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality which is to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra judicial killings, the panel had contravened the terms of reference by inviting Operation Burst.

In response, A. T. Onikosi (Esq.); the petitioner’s counsel pointed out that as at the time the petition was brought before the Oyo State Judicial Panel, he believed that with the inscription of the panel which states “restitution for victims of police related abuse and other matters,” the petition falls within the purview of the panel. He further said that the respondent’s counsel did not challenge the petition but the jurisdiction of the panel. He was of the opinion that it would never be envisaged that another panel be set up to hear the petition separately and since it was the jurisdiction of the panel that was challenged, the judicial panel had the power to decide or determine if the petition was within its purview or not.

However, Kayode A. Babalola (Esq.); the respondent’s counsel urged the Oyo State Judicial Panel to discountenance the petitioner’s counsel’s submission. He stated further that the panel does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the petition of the family of Gbolahan Samuel Adedoyin on the grounds that Operation Burst is not an agency of the Police.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Judicial Panel in its ruling stated that on November 10, 2020; the Governor of Oyo State inaugurated the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in Oyo State and by its terms of reference, the panel shall receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra judicial killings, evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints as well as recommend compensation and other remedial measures where appropriate.

In view of this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel held that it has jurisdiction to look into the cases of extra judicial killings by a policing agency outside the Nigeria Police Force.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 23, 2021 for definite hearing.

8. Case No. OYJPPB/080

Eniola David Oluwaponmile v Operation Burst. The petitioner was present and also represented by S. S. Akingbade. Meanwhile, Kayode A. Babalola (Esq.). maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent. The respondent’s counsel adopted his earlier submission while the petitioner’s counsel, S. S. Akingbade concurred with the ruling.

With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 23, 2021 for hearing.

9. Case No. OYJPPB/081

Mr Emenike Bakosi v Operation Burst. The petitioner was present and was represented by Olufolahan Awoyemi (Esq.) and Babatunde Oni (Esq.). Kayode A. Babalola maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

The respondent’s counsel, Kayode A. Babalola (Esq.) adopted his earlier submission on the petition. Meanwhile, Olufolahan Awoyemi (Esq.) concurred with the ruling of the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 23, 2021 for definite hearing.

10. Case No. OYJPPB/082

The Family of Gbadebokolade Abiodun v Amotekun Security Corps. Mr Oni Gbadebo appeared on behalf of the family and was also represented by A. Babatunde Bello (Esq.). The respondent was not represented at the hearing.

Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 4, 2021 for mention.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close by Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji at about 12:10pm.