Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 19

Picture of a witness testifying before the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on March 9, 2021

Table of Contents

This is a report of the ninteenth 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, March 9, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:39am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists. Altogether, there are nine petitions before the Oyo State Judicial Panel for today.

Cases at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/030

Mrs Titilayo Joseph and Anor v Inspector General of Police and Four Others. The petitioner was represented by Yemi Adegbeha. Counsels for the petitioner were Tunde Olupona (Esq.) and Bunmi Adu (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah.

The petitioner’s counsel, Tunde Olupona (Esq.) told the panel that the petition is for mention but he was yet to receive a response from the respondent. He also said that his client was ready to give testimony provided that the Oyo State Judicial Panel was ready to hear the petition.

It was however pointed out by the Oyo State Judicial Panel that there is a subsisting judgement which awarded the sum of 150 million as damages in favour of the petitioner and only needed enforcement. The panel stated that there is a consistent approach employed for matters of this nature especially because the petition is not within the jurisdiction of the panel. The panel therefore promised to provide the petitioner’s counsel with relevant contacts of the National Assembly Petition Committee, who have the power to summon all the parties involved and also ensure that justice is served. The panel also promised to enlighten the petitioner’s counsel on how to go about the enforcement of the judgement and follow up on the said issue.

Therefore, petition OYJPPB/030 was adjourned sine die.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/033

Mr Alao Olayiwola v The Nigeria Police Area “F” Command, Lagos. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. The respondent was also absent at the sitting.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel told the panel that the legal section of the Lagos State Command was served on the 8th of February, 2021 and the petition was received and acknowledged but unfortunately the respondent was absent. She also pointed out that the petition had appeared before the panel for the third time and the petitioner had never been present before the panel even though he was served with the hearing notices as ordered by the panel.

With this, petition OYJPPB/033 was struck out by the Oyo State Judicial Panel due to lack of diligent prosecution.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/043

Mr Afolabi Ayodamope v The Nigeria Police, SARS Dugbe. The petitioner was present and was represented by Abdulganiu Sulaimon (Esq.). The respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah.

Mr Matthew Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he had not been able to file a response because the petition was not tied to anyone in particular. In response, Abdulganiu Sulaimon (Esq.), the petitioner’s counsel sought for leave of time to amend the irregularities contained in the petition.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 23, 2021 for mention so as to enable the petitioner’s counsel to amend the petition.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/048

Mr Ajao Olumide v The Nigeria Police, Ogbomoso Area Command. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr Matthew Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.

Mr Matthew Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he had been served but was yet to respond due to the manner in which the petition was carved as it does not contain the names of the erring officers.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele told the panel that the petitioner was present and represented at the last sitting which was February 3rd, 2021 and could not explain the reason for today’s absence.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 23, 2021 for mention. The Oyo State Judicial Panel also ordered that the petitioner and his counsel should be served with fresh hearing notices.

5. Case No. OYJPPB/049

Mr Adebowale Akinrinade v The Nigeria Police, Gbagi Division. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Mr Matthew Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr Matthew Ojeah told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he had been served but was yet to respond. He promised that he would file the response as soon as possible because he had been able to obtain some information.

However, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele; the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel said that the petitioner had not been informed that his petition was before the panel because he does not have a traceable address and his phone number was not contained in the petition as the petition was submitted online.

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

6. Case No. OYJPPB/050

Mr Michael Onaghise v The Nigeria Police, Gbagi Division. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr Matthew Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent. Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he had been served but was yet to respond.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 23, 2021. The Oyo State Judicial Panel also ordered that the adjournment date should be communicated to the petitioner and his counsel.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/057

Mrs Mosunmola Labinjo v Nigeria Police, Housing Police Station. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Mr Matthew Ojeah represented the respondent at the sitting.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel said that he had been served but was yet to file a response. The petitioner on the other hand told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the pro bono counsel she was given had not been responding to her.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 13, 2021 for definite hearing.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

8. Case No. OYJPPB/071

Mr Isadele John Olusegun v The Nigeria Police, Monatan Ibadan. The petitioner was present and was represented by Adeyemi Giwa (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah.

Mr Isadele John was invited to the witness stand and he was sworn in using the Holy Bible. He lives at(redacted) Ibadan. He is a retiree and he submitted a petition written on his behalf by his counsel. According to him on the 9th of October, 2020 at about 9:30pm, he was on his way to church for vigil when he had an accident involving his Toyota Sienna Car with registration number (redacted) and a motorcycle at Oyediji Bustop. He said he immediately took the motorcyclist to Academy Medical Hospital at Texaco in Iwo Road, Ibadan where he footed the medical bills as required of him.

He said that on the 10th of October, 2020 he paid for an x-ray as being requested by one of the doctors at the hospital and the result showed that the motorcyclist had a fracture on his left leg. The doctor then told him to pay 500,000 naira so that the leg could be treated at Academy Medical Hospital.

At this point, he had a meeting with the family member of the motorcyclist so as to decide on how to raise the money as he could not afford it. He said that it was concluded at the meeting that the motorcyclist should be taken to see a traditional orthopaedist which he refused and instead opted to be taken to Adeoyo Hospital at Ring road, Ibadan. The petitioner said that on the 12th of October, 2020 he visited the motorcyclist at the hospital but was told that he had been transferred to Adeoyo Hospital, Ring road Ibadan. He said he decided to move his car from the hospital’s compound but was denied access to his car because the motorcyclist’s family had reported the issue at Alabebe Police Station. With this, he went to the police station in the company of his brother to see the IPO in charge of the case, Sergeant Simbiat Bello.

He said he made a statement at the station and also submitted the photocopies of the vehicle’s relevant documents and the key. He tendered the following documents before the Oyo State Judicial Panel:

  • Proof of Ownership
  • Road Worthiness
  • Lagos Computerized Inspection Note
  • Third Party Insurance Certificate

The submitted documents were marked and admitted as exhibit A1-A4. The petitioner said that ever since the 12th of October 2020, the vehicle has been at the Alabebe Police Station, Monatan, Ibadan. He said that on the 17th October, 2020 he handed over 50,000 naira to the motorcyclist, Kunle Ajao for his medical bills at Adeoyo Hospital, Ring road, Ibadan with the hope that his vehicle would be released to him as soon as he gets better. However, the petitioner said that his vehicle remained at Alabebe Police Station, Monatan, Ibadan until 22nd October, 2020 where it was burnt by the #EndSARS protesters. He said that he got information that vehicles were being burnt at various police stations by #EndSARS protesters in Ibadan. With this, he went to Alabebe Police Station, Monatan, Ibadan to check out his vehicle only to discover that his car was among the burnt vehicles.

According to the petitioner, he went back to the police station on the 23rd of October, 2020 to take pictures of the burnt car with his iPad. With this, he tendered two pictures of the said car (before and after it was burnt) before the panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits B and B1.

The petitioner said that as at last week Tuesday when he last saw the burnt car, it was still at Alabebe Police Station. The petitioner therefore prayed for the assistance of the government in purchasing another car which as at today is estimated between 1.8 million naira and 2 million naira.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel members and the respondent’s counsel took turn to cross examine the petitioner after which he brought his petition to a close. However, the respondent’s counsel; Mr Matthew Ojeah prayed the panel for an adjournment because he had intended to present two witness who are relevant to the petition, before the panel.

Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 16, 2021 for further hearing.

9. Case No. OYJPPB/072

Chief M. A. Makinde v Oyo State Police Command and Three Others. The petitioner was present but opted to represent himself at the hearing. Meanwhile, Mr Matthew Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

Mr Matthew Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel however prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment as he was not strong enough to handle the petition, due to health reasons.

With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till March 16, 2021 for definite hearing so as to allow the respondent’s counsel take care of himself medically.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 3:37pm.