Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 33

Table of Contents

This is a report of the thirty-third 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, April 13, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:34am, shortly after the arrival of the Oyo State Judicial Panel members.

Petitions for Mention at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/028

Mr Faluade Dare Alabi v The Nigeria Police, Ojoo Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by O. I. Falana (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.

The petition was slated for mention but because the respondent was yet to respond to the processes of the petition that were served on him, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Falana prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adjourn the petition for hearing.

The petition was adjourned till May 5, 2021 for hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered the respondent to file a response before the next adjourned date.

2. 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. Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

Mrs O. Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel, stated that Mr Olumide Ajao was called on the phone yesterday, to inform him that the petition would be appearing before the panel today but the network wasn’t clear. So, he was sent a text message with a warning that the petition would be struck out, if he fails to appear before the panel.

With this, petition OYJPPB/048 was struck out for lack of diligent prosecution.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

3. Case No. OYJPPB/012

Muhammed Sadisu v Commissioner of Police, Ogun State. The petitioner was present and was represented by A. A. Ibitara (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mrs Ibitara prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt the petitioner’s statement on oath which was filed yesterday, 12th of April, 2021 as his evidence. With this, the petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The name of the petitioner is Muhammed Sadisu. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He is a businessman. He said that in 2020, he was sick and was admitted in the hospital. He said his son, Salisu Mohammed had visited him at the hospital. He said that as at the time, he had N300 on him out of which he gave his son N150 to sort himself. He said that he didn’t see his son for three days and he was worried because he did not know his whereabouts as at the time.

He however said that upon enquiry, he was told that his son had been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for an alleged crime of robbery. He said that his son was arrested as an accomplice to the perpetrator. He further said the person he asked gave him the contact details of the police officers. He said he reached out to the police but was told to come to the station in Abeokuta.

He said that his daughter went to Abeokuta on his behalf to check up on his son, Salisu Mohammed. On getting there, she realised that her brother was locked up in SARS custody and was told to pay the sum of one million naira for his bail. He said that his daughter told them that they don’t have the money but was told to pass the message along to her father. He said his daughter came back home and was later called on the phone by the men of SARS operatives to threaten that if they refuse to pay the money for the bail, her brother would be charged to court. He however said that his son was remanded in Oba Prison in Abeokuta for 15 months and 2 weeks but has never been taken to court.

At this point, the petitioner’s counsel, Mrs Ibitara said that she had taken step to link the petitioner with Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) branch and other human right commissions in Abeokuta, so that the matter would be taken up to see to the release of the the petitioner’s son.

The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till May 11, 2021 to enable the counsel give a report on the actions taken to see to the release of the petitioner’s son.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/043

Afolabi Ayodamope v The Nigeria Police Force. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent. With this the petitioner was invited to the witness stand and he was sworn on the Bible.

The petitioner’s name is Afolabi Ayodamope. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He works as a customer care representative at (redacted). He is a HND graduate of Business Administration and Management.

He said that on the 16th September, 2020, on his way back from work he was stopped by SARS operatives. He said the SARS operatives searched his bag for more than five minutes without finding anything, then one of the officers suddenly brought out a small sachet of Indian hemp from the same bag. He said they started beating him immediately and withdrew his belongings from him. He was forced into a Micra car and was taken to Yemetu Police Station where he was further tortured.

While at the station, he said that he was forced to write a statement to indict himself that he smokes Indian hemp and was also forced to hold a placard and a picture of him was taken. He said his phone was taken from him calls kept coming in but he was denied access to his phone.

He said that he begged them to allow him speak with his mother. He said he had told his mother that he was at Yemetu Police Station, before one of the officers snatched the phone from him and told his mother to come to the station if she wanted to see her son. He said he was thereafter locked up with notorious criminals in the police cell for couple of hours. He said he was brought out of the cell around 2am the following day after which his bail had been paid for.

He said after his release, he went to the Primary Health Centre, Agodi Gate, Idi-Ogungun for treatment. He said his aunt works at the hospital, so the treatment was administered on him for free.

He therefore prayed the government for a compensation of N3 million because his life was threatened, he was locked up with notorious criminals, he was forced to hold a placard while his picture was taken, he was forced to make a false statement to indict himself and the violation of his human rights.

With this, he was crossed examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and other members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The second witness was thereafter invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The second witness is Afolabi Ayobukunmi. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He is a HND 2 student of Federal Cooperative College. He said the petitioner is his brother. He said he works at (redacted). He said his brother gets home every day around 8pm but on that very day at about 10pm he was yet to get back from work. He said he became worried and started calling him on the phone but there was no response. He said at this point his mum also called and her call was answered and she was told to come to Yemetu Police Station.

He said on getting there, he was told that his brother was arrested with a sachet of Indian hemp and was told to pay the sum of N100,000 for his release. He said he pleaded with the officers and they were allowed to pay N50,000 and his brother was released at about 2am.

With this, he was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and other members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till May 5, 2021 for further hearing to enable the petitioner’s aunt appear before the panel, to give evidence about his treatment.

Picture of a complainant testifying at the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry sitting on April 13, 2021

5. Case No. OYJPPB/064

Mr Ajani Toheeb v The Nigeria Police, Ojoo Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by A. Bisi Ademiluwa (Esq.). While the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Ademiluwa told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he would like to present three witnesses who are relevant to the petition, before the panel. With this, the first witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The first witness is Ajani Toheeb. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He sells crayfish, dry fish, and ogbono. He said he contacted his counsel to file a response on his behalf before the Oyo State Judicial Panel on the 15th of January, 2021. He said he would like to adopt the statement before the panel.

He said that before now, he takes his wares to Ojoo Market. He said he went to the Ojoo Market on the 20th of October, 2020, as usual, to supply his wares to his customers and was about going home when the police started shooting gun and tear gas sporadically. He said he was running to safety with his wife, when he was hit by one of the bullets fired by the police.

He said that he was there lying on the floor, when his brother came with his tricycle to the scene about 15 minutes later and said his wife had called him that he had been shot. He said he was then taken to Oyomesi Hospital for treatment but was later referred to UCH [University College Hospital], Ibadan for further treatment. He said he was given a medical report and a letter referring him to UCH, Ibadan for treatment. He said that he was admitted in UCH, Ibadan for two months. He said he was told to come back for an operation on the 26th of April, 2021. With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel told the petitioner to make enquiries about the amount needed for his second operation and attach the report to the petition. The petitioner said that he incurred expenses for the treatment which would amount to N5 million.

With this, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Ademiluwa tendered all the relevant documents and receipts before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were admitted and marked as exhibits.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel took turns to cross examine the petitioner. The second witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The name of the second witness is Abiodun Rukayat Ajoke. She is the petitioner’s wife. She lives at (redacted) Ona-ara Local Government Area, Oyo. She sells fried rice ingredients. She said that she went to Ojoo Market with her husband at about 5am on the 20th of October, 2020 to supply crayfish and ogbono to their customers. She said that at about 9:30am, the police officers started shooting tear gas and guns sporadically, and they had to run to safety.

She said she ran faster than her husband but on looking back she saw that her husband had been shot and there was no one to come to his rescue. She said she called her husband’s brother to come to the scene with his tricycle to take him to Oyomesi Hospital where they were later referred to UCH, Ibadan for treatment. She said that as at when her husband was shot, the Ojoo Police Station was yet to be razed down.

At this point, she was crossed examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The third witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The third witness is Ahmed Jelilee Kayode. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He supplies animal feeds. He said he was at the market to collect the money the petitioner owed him. He said he got to the market at about 9:30am. He said at that point, he heard gunshots and had run to safety. He said that he looked back and then saw the petitioner lying on the floor. He said he didn’t go back to the scene until the petitioner’s wife and brother were with him because he was scared that the police officers were still around.

With this, he was cross examined by Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel and the petition was brought to a close. The petition was therefore adjourned sine die.

6. Case No. OYJPPB/085

Temidire Planks Association v The Nigeria Police, Egbeda Station and Operation Burst. The petitioner was present and was represented by Toyosi Ayankoya (Esq.). The first respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah while the second respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.

The petitioner’s counsel, Toyosi Ayankoya (Esq.) told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the lawyer who represented the petitioner at the last adjourned date, got the wrong date and this made it impossible for adequate representation of the petitioner. She therefore prayed the panel for an adjournment for definite hearing.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 21, 2021 for definite hearing.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/057

Mrs Mosunmola Labinjo v The Nigeria Police Force, Housing Police Station, Bodija, Ibadan. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

However, Mr Ojeah prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable him access medical treatment at the Police Clinic, Eleyele. His application was granted and the petition was adjourned till tomorrow, April 14, 2021 for definite hearing.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 3:00pm.