Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 20

Picture of a witness testifying before the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on March 10, 2021

Table of Contents

This is a report of the twentieth 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: Wednesday March 10, 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/012

Mr Muhammed Sadisu v Commissioner of Police, Ogun State. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. The petitioner explained that it had been difficult for him to get a counsel to represent him and because the petition was dragging for too long, he opted to represent himself at the hearing. However, Mr Matthew Ojeah declined appearance because the petition involved Ogun State Command.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel said that the Ogun State Command was served by a courier but no response was filed and no appearance was made before the panel.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 6, 2021 for definite hearing.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/035

Mr Muraina Kadiri Adeyemi v The Nigeria Police, Iyaganku. The petitioner was present and was represented by W. A. Lamidi (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he had been served but was yet to respond because the IPO had been transferred out of Oyo State. He however promised to file the response to the petition by next week.

With the approval of both counsels, the petition was adjourned till April 14, 2021 for definite hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel also ordered the respondent’s counsel to file the necessary response before the next adjourned date and the petitioner’s counsel to react accordingly.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/038

Mr Adegbite Nasiru v The Nigeria Police, Eleyele Ibadan. The petitioner was present and was represented by S. A. Oladele (Esq.). Mr Matthew Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah said he had been served but was yet to respond. He said most of the IPOs in Oyo State had been transferred but he would file the response to the petition by next week.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 20, 2021 for definite hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered that all documents be filed before the next adjourned date.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/062

Alhaja Olayinka Akinbo v Dr. Muhammad Tajudeen Ishola. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. The respondent was absent at the sitting. The petition was written because the petitioner’s husband instigated the police against her and this resulted in the violation of her fundamental human rights.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel told the panel that the respondent was served with the processes of the petition but he did not accept the notice. The panel ordered that a fresh hearing notice be issued and pasted on the respondent’s door.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 6, 2021 for mention.

5. Case No. OYJPPB/064

Mr Ajani Toheeb v Nigeria Police, Ojoo Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by E. M. Olona. Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah.

Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till April 13, 2021 for definite hearing.

6. Case No. OYJPPB/067

Mr Anishere Abolade v Inspector Dorcas, Area Command Apata. The petitioner was present and was represented by W. A. Lamide (Esq.). The respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel said that he had been served but was yet to respond. He promised to respond next week and agreed that the petition be adjourned for hearing.

Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till April 14, 2021 for hearing. The panel also ordered that all relevant documents be filed before the next adjourned date.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/085

Temidire Planks Association v The Nigeria Police, Egbeda Station & Anor. The petitioner was represented by Adeyemo Adeniji and Kehinde Owoade (Esq.), the petitioner’s counsel. Meanwhile, Mr Ojeah appeared on behalf of the first respondent while Mr Kayode A. Babalola appeared on behalf of the second respondent, Operation Burst.

Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till April 13, 2021 for definite hearing.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

8. Case No. OYJPPB/066

Mr Jurgen Johnson v SARS Dugbe Ibadan and Anor. The petitioner was present but he opted to represent himself at the hearing. Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Matthew Ojeah. The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn in using the Holy Bible.

The petitioner, Jurgen Oladimeji Johnson lives at (redacted) Ilesha Osun State and he is an accountant by profession. He wrote a petition to the panel dated January 21, 2021. According to him, on the 2nd day of November 2012 at about 8:42pm, he went to meet one Late Mr Taiwo Abara at the Tollgate Plaza, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway who was on his way from Kaduna to Lagos. The Late Taiwo Abara had helped him to collect his academic transcript from Kaduna Polytechnic, so he went to the Tollgate to collect the document from him. He said that he collected the document from him at the Mobil Petrol Station at Tollgate after which Mr Abara embarked on his journey towards Lagos while he trekked towards the Tollgate police station. He said that noticed that someone beamed a flash light at him of which he didn’t respond to the flash but instead continued walking.

After taking about 20 steps, he met a police man who told him to go back to the point where the flash light was beamed and he questioned why. He was told that the man who flashed the light was also a police man. With this, he went back to the police man with the flash light who asked him to lie on the floor which he questioned. According to him, the officer said in Yoruba language, se o ri awon iyooku e ni and he was pointing to three other men on the floor but he told the police officer that he does not know them.

He said that at the point, the second police officer already caught up with them and then kicked him with his boot on his leg, so he fell down. He tried to stand but the police officer continued hitting him with his boot. The police officer who beamed his flash light earlier, then instructed the four of them to get into the police Hilux van and drove them to the Tollgate police station. The police officers wanted to drop them at the Tollgate police station but the DPO objected and instead asked them to take them to their station at SARS Dugbe, since they made the arrest.

The petitioner said they got to Dugbe at about past 9 in the night. He said he was interrogated by one Inspector Buba who later told him that the vehicle he passed by at the Tollgate was stolen and abandoned. He asked Inspector Buba why they chose to arrest him because he had no contact with the vehicle nor with anyone connected to the vehicle. He said he told the Inspector that there was no inscription like “keep off” which would have signaled that no one should pass through that area. He said he made a statement and he was detained for five days from 2nd November to 7th November, 2012 because his bail was not granted. He got in touch with the members of his family on the 3rd of November, 2012.

The petitioner said his younger brother, Christopher Oni came around on the 5th of November, 2012 and was called to meet with Inspector Buba who said he was going to give him a privilege. He showed him a report in which he wrote that they were victims of circumstances and that when the SARS Officer in Charge comes around, he would tender his report with the hope that the bail would be approved. He said that the SARS Officer in Charge did not show up until about 6pm.

He said that Inspector Buba told him that the SARS Officer in Charge asked if he had been paraded before the complainant (the owner of the stolen vehicle in question) but he told her that the complainant said she won’t be available until after the close of work on the 6th of November, 2012. With this, he was taken back to the cell.

The petitioner said that around 5:30pm, about eleven of them were brought out from the cell and lined up in the hall so that the complainant could identify the robbers but the woman said none of them was among the people who snatched her vehicle. He said a group photograph was taken to indicate that the complainant could not identify the robbers among them.

He said his younger brother, Oni Christopher later got in touch with Barr. Ayokunle Adeogun who wrote a petition to the AIG Zone 11, Osogbo, Osun State and thereafter copied the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. He tendered a copy of the petition before the panel and it was marked exhibit A.

The petitioner said he was granted a bail on the 7th of December, 2012. He said he was not fed while in detention and could not have access to his inhaler for three days.

He prayed the government to help him financially because he lost his job due to the incident. He said that he was working as an accountant at Alpha Tours Nig. Limited, Liberty Road, Ibadan prior to his arrest. He said his appointment was terminated on the 13th of February, 2013 but the Chairman of the organisation, Chief Babatunde Oniyide had asked him to stay away since the 7th of November 2012. He said that since the termination of his appointment, he has been buying and selling electronics. He said he could not get a job as a result of the arrest. He is 45 years old. He said he relocated to Osun because he could not afford to pay the rent. He said that the unlawful detention cost him his job and this makes it difficult for him to take care of his eleven-year-old daughter who was two as at the time of arrest.

The petitioner was cross examined by the Oyo State Judicial Panel members and the respondent’s counsel, Mr Matthew Ojeah.

With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 14, 2021 for further hearing. The panel also ordered that all relevant documents and witnesses be made available at the next adjourned date.

9. Case No. OYJPPB/021

Chief Tunde Mustapha v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was present and was represented by Ajewale Ajewole (Esq.). The petition was slated today for further hearing as the petition was first heard on February 18, 2021.

The petitioner tendered the valuation report and certificate dated 18th November, 2021 which was given to him by an estate surveyor and valuer and it was marked as exhibit C.

The petitioner therefore prayed the government to assist him with funds in the sum of N700,000 so as to renovate his house which was destroyed during the #EndSARS protest last year.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel promised to make recommendations to the governor who would in turn get in touch with the petitioner. With this, the petition was adjourned sine die.

Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s Chairperson therefore enjoined the petitioners and their counsels to make available all the necessary documents and witnesses which are relevant to the petitions, on the definite adjourned date for hearing. Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 2:27pm.