This is a report of the twenty-ninth 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 Mediation Centre, Ministry of Justice Secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:22am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.
Petitions for Mention at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. Case No. OYJPPB/047
Mr Adeola Isaka Adeniyi v The Nigeria Police, Iyaganku Division. The petitioner was present and was represented by D. O. Sadiq (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal said that she had been served but was yet to respond to the petition. She urged the Oyo State Judicial Panel to fix the petition for hearing and promised to respond before the next adjourned date.
However, the Oyo State Judicial Panel pointed out that Justice Aderonke Aderemi had delivered a judgement on the said issue and ordered that the sum of N600,000 be paid as damages to the petitioner. The panel stated further that the judgement only needed enforcement.
Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s Chairperson explained that the panel lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the petition as it does not fall within its terms of reference. She also said that the panel does not have the power to do away with the existing judgement of a competent court of law.
However, Hon Oduyoye, a member of the Oyo State Judicial Panel advised the petitioner to forward the petition to the National Assembly’s petition committee where the matter would be judiciously addressed. He further told the petitioner to meet with the panel members if he needed clarifications on how to go about the submission of the petition.
With this, petition OYJPPB/047 was struck out by the Oyo State Judicial Panel because it has been adjudicated upon by a competent court of law.
2. Case No. OYJPPB/051
Mr Hassan Muraina v Nigeria Police, Saki Police Station. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel informed the panel that the petitioner is currently out of the country and his contact number has been unreachable. She said she sent the hearing notice to the petitioner via email on three different occasions but the petitioner had never been present before the panel. She said that she sent the first hearing notice on the 4th of February, 2021, the second on the 5th of March, 2021 and the third on the 26th of March, 2021 but there was never a response from the petitioner.
In view of the fact that the petitioner is a resident in Italy and had never responded to the mails that were sent on three occasions to inform him that his petition was before the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry nor did he appear before the panel, petition OYJPPB/051 was struck out as it appeared that the petitioner is no longer interested in prosecuting the petition.
3. Case No. OYJPPB/075
Mrs Oluwatoyin Oseni v The Nigeria Police, Ikeja Police Command and the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was present and was represented by Temitope Adesiyan (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole represented the second respondent.
At the last adjourned date, it was concluded that Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele would go to the SARS office at Dugbe to find out if the petitioner’s car is still within the premises of the station. However, the visit had been rescheduled to a later date because Mr Ojeah was not available on the agreed date.
Therefore, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 8, 2021 to enable Mr Ojeah and Mrs Ogundele visit SARS Office at Dugbe, to ascertain if the car which is the subject of the petition, is still within the premises of the office.
4. Case No. OYJPPB/088
Mrs Idowu Adeagbo Ajao and Two Others v The Nigeria Police, SARS Dugbe, Ibadan. The first petitioner was present while the two others were absent. The petitioner was represented by Ade Adegoke (Esq.). Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal said that she was served with the processes of the petition on the 5th of March, 2021 but was yet to respond.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel however pointed out that the petition had been filed in a regular court before now and there is a need for the petitioner to follow through with the processes.
In response, the petitioner’s counsel said that a date was yet to be chosen for the case to appear in court because the processes stopped due to the outbreak of coronavirus last year.
The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 28, 2021 for striking out to enable the petitioner’s counsel get a date for the hearing of the petition in the regular court of law.
5. Case No. OYJPPB/089
Pastor Ajayi Opeyemi Isaac v The Nigeria Police Force, Akanran Police Station. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal said that she had been served but was yet to respond because the petition had to do with land matters which does not fall within the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry’s jurisdiction. She also said that on the 16th of March 2021 which was the last adjourned date, the panel ordered the petitioner to be at the secretariat in order to get a pro bono counsel and she had hoped that she would be served with the amended copy of the petition.
However, the panel said that even though the petitioner did not show up to get the contact of a pro bono counsel, the panel can accommodate the petition because it bothers on the issue of violation of human rights to property. The petitioner had written the petition because after he had purchased a land, a police officer became interested in the same land.
At this point, Muyideen O. Olagunju (Esq.), a former honorable member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, who was at the sitting to represent another petitioner, signified that he would like to represent the petitioner pro bono.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 22, 2021 for mention.
6. Case No. OYJPPB/092
Mr Azeez Jabaru v Nigeria Police, Mokola Station. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
The petitioner wrote the petition because his son was arrested and locked up by the police after he was accused of rape. He said that his son was beaten and tortured before he could gather enough money for bail. However, he told the panel that he had written the petition to call for the release of his son.
He said that his son was released yesterday and he is being treated at the hospital. He said he would like to discontinue the petition but the Oyo State Judicial Panel members said they would like to see his son before striking out the petition.
The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 22, 2021 for mention.
7. Case No. OYJPPB/091
Mr Alamu Toheeb v The Nigeria Police Force, Eleyele. The petitioner was present and was represented by O. P. Adenuga (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by CSP Funke Fawole.
CSP Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal said that she had been served but was yet to respond.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel however pointed out that the prayers contained in the petition were vague and the receipts of the petitioner’s spending were not attached to the petition. The panel advised that the petition be amended.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 7, 2021 for mention.
8. Case No. OYJPPB/090
Alfa Hamzat Ibrahim v Nigerian Correctional Service, Agodi. The petitioner was present and was represented by J. O. Abdulsalam (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.
Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the Oyo State Judicial Panel’s counsel pointed out that Mr Salami, the panel’s secretary served the correctional service with the processes of the petition but it was rejected because only the comptroller of the service can accept the petition, however he was not available on the said date.
The petitioner said he is a motorcyclist. He said that on the 24th of November 2020, he took some passengers from Mokola roundabout to Agodi Gate. He said the passengers are mechanics and they had gone to Agodi to purchase spare parts for vehicles. He said the passengers told him to wait for them in order to take them to Ogunpa and he had agreed on the condition that he would not be delayed. He said he decided to park at the garage newly built at Agodi Gate for motorcyclists.
He said he had sat on his motorcycle waiting for the passengers when he was approached by one of the prison warders. He said the warder ordered him to step away from the motorcycle, and he obliged. He said the warder later took his motorcycle into the correctional home.
He said after begging the warder to no avail, he spoke with one of the soldiers outside the prison to appeal to the warder on his behalf, which he did. He said this made the warder angry. He said the warder slapped and beat him even though the bystanders appealed to him. He said the warder then went in to pick a gun and tear gas, and shot him in the eyes. He said his motorcycle has not been released to him till date.
He gave the name of the warder as Kehinde and also furnished the panel with his picture. He said he approached the National Human Rights Commission and a petition was written on his behalf to the State CID. He said the police told him to write a petition to the Comptroller of the Prison Service in Oyo State and also send a copy to the Comptroller of the Prison Service in Abuja but he was yet to do so.
The petition was adjourned till April 29, 2021 for mention. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered the petitioner to furnish the panel with a report of the submitted petition before the next adjourned date.
Cases for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry
9. Case No. OYJPPB/014
Mr Suleman Kehinde v The Area Commander, Nigeria Police Ogbomoso. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Tomiwa Fadeyi (Esq.). The respondent was represented by CSP Funke Fawole.
The petitioner’s counsel, Tomiwa Fadeyi (Esq.) apologised for the absence of the petitioner. He said that the petitioner was indisposed and was in Ilorin, Kwara State. He also said that he was yet to be served with the respondent’s response to the petition and this had made it impossible for him to react accordingly. At that point, the respondent’s counsel, CSP Fawole served the petitioner’s counsel with the response to the petition. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable him react to the response.
With this, the petition was adjourned till April 29, 2021 for definite hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel also ordered that both parties should file the necessary responses before the next adjourned date.
10. Case No. OYJPPB/031
The Family of Orelope Bashit Olaide v The Nigeria Police, Igana Area Command. The family was represented by Olatunji Waheed Orelope, Olatunji Lawal Orelope, Ismaila Adisa and Olayiwola Bilikisu Orelope. The family was also represented by Muyideen Olagunju (Esq.) and W. A. Lamidi (Esq.). Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
The principal witness opted to speak in Yoruba. He was invited to the witness stand and was sworn in on the Quran.
The principal witness, Olatunji Waheed Orelope lives at (redacted) Oyo. He is a civil servant. He works at (redacted), Oyo. He said Orelope Bashit Olaide is his biological son. He said Bashit would become 27 years on June 18, 2021. He said Bashit is an employee of the Nigeria Police Force. He said his son was employed as a constable in 2016 but had become a corporal as at the last time he was seen.
He last saw Bashit on the 13th of December, 2019. He said Bashit calls him on the phone every three days until the 10th of January, 2020 which was the last time he communicated with him.
He said that Bashit was first attached to Eruwa Divisional Police Headquarters in 2016 but was later attached to Igana Area Command Police Headquarters in 2018.
He said that on Friday, the 10th of January 2020 which was the last time he communicated with him, Bashit spoke with other members of the family after which he promised to send him some money. He said on January 13, 2020 he got a call from 09060607062 at about 1:37pm and asked if he is Bashit’s next of kin, which he answered in the affirmative. He said that he heard the caller telling someone next to him that he was speaking with his father and ended the call. He said he called the number and the person asked if the DPO and the Area Commander had called him and he answered in the negative. He inquired about what had happened to Bashit but he wasn’t given an answer. He said he rushed home and informed his father about the call but couldn’t go to Igana that same day because it was late. He said he went to Igana on the 14th of January, 2020 and met an officer on uniform. He said he told him that he was called by someone who asked if he had been called by the DPO and Area Commander.
He said that the officer asked him who he was and he identified himself as Bashit’s father. He said the officer then told him that Bashit had gone out with the DPO and the Area Commander and told him to wait. He said he waited for about 3 hours but didn’t see any of them, so he went back home.
He said that on the 17th of January 2020, he went back to Igana Station and met the Area Commander. He introduced himself as Bashit’s father. He said the Area Commander told him that someone rushed to the station on the 11th of January, 2020 to report that he had been robbed. He said the person also told the Area Commander that two of his men were at the scene and were in great danger. He said the DPO walked in at that point and said that he heard from a vigilante, Sunday Adegoke that the said incident had happened. He said that when the vigilante was called in, he said that he went on a patrol with Bashit Orelope and Inspector Toyin Ogunlade who booked the gun for the patrol.
He said that the Inspector was supposed to ride the motorcycle, so he gave the gun to Bashit while he sat in the middle. He said that they had gone to Idikko Junction for the patrol where they saw that a robbery was taking place. He said that Bashit jumped off the motorcycle on sighting the robbers causing the motorcycle to fall to the ground. He said Bashit ran into the bush while he laid on the floor with the inspector. He said that the robbers divided themselves into two groups. Some were in the bush while some were operating on the road and they were shooting sporadically. The vigilante said all through the operation, they were lying face down. He said after the operation ended, they called Bashit several times but did not get any response from him.
He said the vigilante had explained that the area commander took other officers to the robbery scene to comb the area after it was reported but could not find Bashit. Instead, they found Bashit’s glasses and shoes in the bush. He said they called his phone but it didn’t go through.
The petitioner said after hearing the narration, he told the area commander that he didn’t believe that his son had died and pleaded with him to look for his son. He said that he went back to Igana Police Station with five other members of his family on the 25th of January, 2020 to ask about the situation of things but the same story was narrated to his family members. He said with this, he reached out to the counsel for advice.
He said that when the family visited the station, the area commander told them that Sunday Adegoke and Inspector Toyin Ogunlade had been arrested and were taken to Iyaganku Police Station. He said he went to Iyaganku Police Station with his sister, Mufuliat Orelope on the 27th of January, 2020 to see the vigilante and the Inspector but was told that none of them was brought to the station.
He said when he got home, he wrote a letter to the Inspector-General of Police in Abuja through the Commissioner of Police Oyo State, and sent it through the DHL. The letter was tendered before the panel and it was admitted and marked as exhibit A. He said the letter was returned to him because a letter written to the Inspector-General of Police does not go through any one. He said due to this, he wrote another letter to Zone 11. He submitted the second letter and it was admitted and marked exhibit A1.
He said he was later directed by the police to go to SARS office at Dugbe where he saw the suspects and one Ikechukwu James who gave a separate account of the incident as opposed to what was narrated to him earlier.
He said when he left SARS office, he went to Nigerian Tribune as well National Human Rights Commission, Ikolaba on the 26th of February, 2020 to report the matter. A copy of the published petition was admitted and marked as exhibit A2. He also said that the Human Rights Commission wrote the Commissioner of Police and nothing came out of it. He said he was further advised by the commission to try other means possible and that was why he had written the petition.
The petitioner prayed the panel to help in the search of his son. With this, the petitioner was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, CSP Fawole.
As the counsel to the police and the commissioner of police, CSP Funke Fawole, expressed the concern of the police as regards the missing person and urged the petitioner to work together with the police in order to get to the root of the matter. She promised to visit DCP Wale Abass alongside the petitioner and his counsel to look further into the matter.
With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 27, 2021 for further hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered that the report of the of visit should be made available before the next adjourned date.
11. Case No. OYJPPB/063
Alh. Kaharu M. Adeyemi v The Nigeria Police, Alabebe Division. The petitioner was present and was represented by Kayode Okunade (Esq.). Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole appeared on behalf of the respondent.
The petitioner who was the first witness opted to speak in Yoruba. With this, he was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.
The name of the petitioner is Alh. Kaharudeen Adeyemi. He lives at (redacted) Kajola Area. He is a member of NURTW. He said that he had written the petition to state what he went through in the hands of one Inspector Adetutu.
According to the petitioner, he bought a Micra car on hire purchase from Alh. Adebowale at the rate of N1.2 million. He said he paid N130,000 as deposit and there was an agreement that he would pay N15,000 every week to balance the payment. He said he had so far paid N670,000 as payment for the car.
He said that on the 26th of September 2020 after he had made the regular payment for the week, he had an accident which involved a trailer truck. He said he regained consciousness on the second day and was told that he was brought to the hospital by a police officer. The pictorial evidence of the damaged car was tendered and marked as exhibit.
He said that he was invited to come to the police station alongside Alh. Adebowale on the fourth day after the incident. He said that the driver of the trailer was also present at the station and compensated him with N100,000 to repair the car. He said that Alh. Adebowale asked him to lend him N50,000 but instead he lent him N30,000.
The petitioner said he later went to meet Alh. to request for the money owed in order to repair the car but was told to forfeit two weeks’ payment in lieu of the borrowed money. He said that he repaired the vehicle with a total of N138,000. He said the engine of the car had damaged due to the accident and Alh. Adebowale had told him to sell the damaged engine and add money to purchase a new one. He said he got someone who wanted to sell the engine for N120,000. He said due to the agreement he had with Alh. Adebowale, he sold the damaged engine and gear for N15,000 and added N15,000 to make N30,000. He said he was supposed to pay the seller N30,000 and balance the payment at a later date but the seller refused to sell due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
He said he told Alh. Adebowale that the man who had intended to sell the engine had changed his mind and was told to park the car until after the lockdown. He however said that the car wasn’t fixed and he had complained after some time but Alhaji Adebowale told him to park the car until there was money to fix it. He said he later got another Micra from another dealer.
He said he was at a mechanic workshop near Alabebe Police Station when he was approached by three police men who told him that the DPO wants to see him. He said that he decided to lock his car with registration number (redacted) but the police officers insisted that they ride to the station in his car. On getting to the station, he said Inspector Adetutu asked if he knew one Alh. Adebowale and he answered in the affirmative.
He said he explained to the police that he bought a Micra car on hire purchase from him but the police told him that he was reported to have stolen an unregistered vehicle. He said Alh. Adebowale was invited to the police station and was asked if he had stolen the car. He said that Alh Adebowale explained to the police that he didn’t steal the car but only stopped paying the balance as agreed since the outbreak of coronavirus. He said the police officers followed him home and confirmed that the car was parked in his compound and he was asked about the engine but he explained that he had an agreement with Alh. Adebowale to sell the engine so as to purchase a new one.
He said that Inspector Adetutu asked him to pay N10,000 as bail and he was detained that day because he couldn’t make the payment. He said he was released on the second day after his wife had paid the N10,000 to Inspector Adetutu. He said when he was released, he demanded for his car keys but was told to pay N50,000 before he could get the car or he should fix the old car.
He said he kept checking back but the car wasn’t released until #EndSARS protest during which the car was burnt at Alabebe Police Station by protesters. He prayed the panel to assist him with N1.2 million to purchase a new car as well as N730,000 because he could not work with his car since October 5th, 2020 until when it was burnt.
The petitioner tendered the vehicle particulars and other documents before the panel, and they were marked and admitted as exhibits. The petitioner was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel and the second witness was invited to the witness stand.
The second witness was sworn on the Quran and she opted to speak Yoruba. The second witness, Salimot Adeyemi lives at 7up B/stop, Monatan. She said that Alh. Kamaru Adeyemi is her husband. She said that Inspector Adetutu arrested her husband because the dealer who gave him a car had reported him to Alabebe Police Station. She said she was at the station to bail her husband but was told that Inspector Adetutu was not around. She said that she met with Inspector Adetutu the next day and paid N10,000 for the release of her husband. The second witness was thereafter cross examined by the respondent’s counsel.
Therefore, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 21, 2021 to enable the respondent open a defence.
Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 5:35pm.