This is a report of the twenty-seventh 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 Mediation Centre, Ministry of Justice Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Date: Thursday, March 25, 2021.
Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:22 AM, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.
Petitions for Mention at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. Case No. OYJPPB/016
Hon Ojo Samson Bamidele v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
After the last adjourned date, the Oyo State Judicial Panel gave the petitioner a letter which was to be delivered to the Lagos State Judicial Panel. The petitioner said that he was in Lagos last week Monday but was told that the panel sits on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays which makes it impossible for him to deliver the letter. He said he gave the letter to his officer friend, who delivered it on his behalf and afterwards, furnished him with the acknowledged copy. He said his friend however told him that the panel had said that the Oyo State Judicial Panel can equally give an order for the release of the vehicle due to the issue of jurisdiction.
The petitioner also said that he reached out to the Police PRO in Lagos and was told that the car had been brought to Lagos and a pictorial evidence was sent to him on the phone.
With this the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 15, 2021 for mention.
2. Case No. OYJPPB/019
Mr Sesan Opadotun’s Family v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was represented by Olorode Oluwaseun, Lateef Olaide and Olunike Opadotun. Mr M. A. Ojeah represented the respondent.
Lateef Olaide told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that Sesan is still in Adeoyo State Hospital but the surgery had not been carried out. It would be recalled that at the last adjourned date the petitioner’s representative had said that Sesan was in a critical condition and might have died before he gets home, and the panel took action immediately and contacted the Commissioner for Health who directed that an ambulance be used to convey Sesan to Adeoyo State Hospital.
In response, Hon Oduyoye, a member of the Oyo State Judicial Panel said that a letter was written to the board of the hospital to inquire about the amount needed to carry out the surgery, but a response was yet to be sent.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 15, 2021 for hearing.
3. Case No. OYJPPB/041
Mr Umoru Adamu v The Nigeria Police, Saki Area Command. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel said that the hearing notice was served on the petitioner’s local government, as suggested by him. She however said that she doesn’t know if the hearing notice was delivered to him, as he was yet to respond.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 15, 2021 for mention or striking out.
4. Case No. OYJPPB/044
Mr Kunle Ajayi v The Nigeria Police, Bodija Ibadan. The petitioner was present and was represented by Ugochukwu S. Ngugah (Esq.). The respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The petitioner said he wrote the petition because his car was stolen at Le-Chateau Event Centre, where he had parked it as directed by the guard on duty. He said that he proceeded to Bodija Police Station to report the incident and he was instructed by the DPO to write a statement which he did. He said that the DPO told him to write a petition, which was to be submitted to the CID. He said that when he went back to submit the petition, he was threatened by the police officers never to return.
He said that his rights were violated and he wasn’t given a fair hearing. He also said that if the police had made attempts to look into the CCTV of the event centre or even investigate the incident at that time, his car might have been recovered.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 14, 2021 for hearing.
5. Case No. OYJPPB/045
Mr Daodu Ayoniyi Edward v The Nigeria Police, Iyaganku. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
At the last adjourned date which was March 4, 2021, the Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered the Police Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Funke Fawole, to furnish the panel with a copy of the names of the officers on duty for the month of March, 2013. She was however absent and was yet to submit the names before the panel.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 14, 2021 for mention.
6. Case No. OYJPPB/095
Mr Ajekigbe Sunday v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered the petitioner to present the relevant documents and pictorial evidences at the next adjourned date.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 21, 2021 for hearing.
Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
7. Case No. OYJPPB/015
Kamaldeen Hassan v The Area Commander, Nigeria Police Ogbomoso. The petitioner was present and was represented by Tomiwa Fadeyi (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel pointed out that the petitioner had never been present before the panel and it was resolved at the last sitting that his petition would be heard or struck out.
However, the petitioner’s counsel, Tomiwa Fadeyi (Esq.) apologised on behalf of the petitioner. He explained that the petitioner was always absent because he is a transporter and always on the road. He said that the petitioner had to cancel some of his trips to appear before the Oyo State Judicial Panel today, as he had come from Ilorin, Kwara State.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 29, 2021 for definite hearing. The panel ordered the respondent to file a response and the petitioner should react accordingly. The petitioner was also ordered to present all the relevant documents at the next adjourned date.
8. Case No. OYJPPB/017
The Family of Late Abass Lawal Adekoya v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
The petitioner’s counsel, Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.) prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment because the petitioner’s representative and the only witness relevant to the petition, Alimat Lawal, was indisposed.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 20, 2021 for definite hearing.
9. Case No. OYJPPB/069
Mr Kolawole Owoade v Nigeria Police Force (Defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad Oyo/Ogbomoso Command, Durbar Oyo). The petitioner was present and was represented by Diekola Rufai (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn in on the Bible. He gave his name as Mudashir Kolawole Owoade. He lives at (redacted). He works as an agricultural mechanic technician. He said that as at when the incident happened, he was living at (redacted) Oyo.
The petitioner stated that his son, Late Adewale Owoade who was 19 years and a second year National Diploma student of Grace Polytechnic, Oyo at the time of the incident, was shot by one Mr Kolawole, a SARS operative and that the mother, Mrs Mojisola Owoade has been sick as a result of the trauma suffered from her son’s death, since 2006 till date.
He said that one Morufu Ogundele allegedly went to report the deceased to SARS on a charge that Late Adewale Owoade had stolen some missing recharge cards being sold by one Mr Lasukanmi, who was a neighbour at that time. He said that SARS officers numbering about 6 or more came to his house on November 11, 2006 at about 11am and laid ambush for the arrival of his son from church.
He said the officers left the ambush and began searching his house without permission and when he came out to confront them, he was asked if he was the father of the deceased and he answered in the affirmative. He said that when the SARS officers sighted the Late Adewale Owoade on his way out of the premises, they shot him.
He said that the SARS officers took Adewale with the gunshot wound from which the intestine had come out to Bisbol Medical Centre, Ilora. The deceased was on admission at the hospital for a week before he was transferred to Baptist Medical Centre, Ogbomoso because his condition had worsened. He said that the deceased was taken to Baptist Medical Centre by one Sergeant Mbachi Paul with Force No 129319 of the Special Anti-Robbery squad on November 18, 2006.
He said that the medical expert in Ogbomoso however instructed him and the SARS officer to transfer the deceased to University College Hospital, Ibadan on the same day. He said that the deceased was on admission at UCH, Ibadan from November 18, 2006 till December 12, 2006 when he died having spent about 33 days on admission. He said the deceased was buried on February 2nd, 2007 at Eleekara Burial Ground, Oyo.
The petitioner said that he paid several hospital bills and that he did not only suffer psychological and emotional loss but also suffered financial loss. He said that he contacted one Barr. Adeloye Olaitan who tried his best to ensure that he was compensated but the SARS officers frustrated his efforts and he became helpless since then and was waiting for an opportunity of this nature wherein he would be compensated for his loss.
He said that the SARS operatives wanted to claim the corpse of the deceased in order to erase the traces but the attempt was resisted by the authorities of UCH, Ibadan. He said that SARS did not give any letter of condolences to his family but only appealed to him orally.
At this point, the petitioner tendered all the relevant receipts and documents before the panel. With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel admitted and marked the death certificate of Adewale Owoade as exhibit A, a copy of his admission letter was marked as exhibit B, five payment receipts into Grace Polytechnic were marked as exhibits C1-C5, his birth certificate was marked as exhibit D, the letter from the medical services department of UCH was marked as exhibit E, a catalogue of receipts of hospital bills and drugs for the deceased was marked as exhibit F, a catalogue of receipts of hospital bills and drugs for the deceased’s mother was marked as exhibit G, the doctor’s report referring the deceased from Bisbol Hospital to Baptist Medical Centre was marked exhibit H, and the sheet in which Baptist Medical Center, Ogbomoso stated the name of the officer who brought the deceased to the medical center was marked as exhibit I.
The petitioner prayed the government for financial assistance and a compensation of fifty million naira (N50,000,000). With this, the petitioner was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel and the panel members.
However, the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah sought for an adjournment to present a witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The petition was therefore adjourned till April 14, 2021 for further hearing.
10. Case No. OYJPPB/010
Lance Cpl. Adeborijo Adebayo Samuel v The Nigeria Police Force, IRT. The petitioner was present and was represented by T. T. Istifanus (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.
The petition was last adjourned yesterday, the 24th of March 2021 to enable the petitioner amend his petition.
The petitioner’s counsel, T. T. Istifanus (Esq.) therefore tendered the amended petition, the petitioner’s statement on oath and the statement of the petitioner’s witness on oath. With this, he made an application to adopt the aforementioned documents dated March 24, 2021 but filed today March 25, 2021. The Oyo State Judicial Panel granted the application and took turn to cross examine the petitioner and his witness.
The petitioner prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to bring the perpetrators to book and also compensate him with the sum of N1.2 million.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore promised to reach out to the petitioner after the recommendations must have been made and the petition was adjourned sine die.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel restated that its terms of reference is to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and other extra judicial killings, evaluate the evidence presented and other surrounding circumstances as well as make recommendations where necessary. Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 4:05pm.