This is a report of the thirty-sixth 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 20, 2021.
Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:24am, shortly after the arrival of the Oyo State Judicial Panel members.
Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. 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.) and Esther Ajayi (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah said that he had been served but was yet to file a response because he was just served with a copy of the petition. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment.
With this, the petition was adjourned the Oyo State Judicial Panel till May 11, 2021 to enable the respondent file a response.
2. Case No. OYJPPB/073
Seye Brodiemenas V. Nigeria Police, SARS Dugbe. The petitioner was present and was represented by Adeshile Obasa (Esq.) and T. G. Agoro (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
The petition was last adjourned on the March 24, 2021 to enable the respondent file a response. However, the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah said that he had been served with a copy of the petition but was yet to file a response.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel pointed out that the matter is pending at the Magistrate Court, but the petitioner said that he was told to stop going to court for the case.
The petition was therefore adjourned the Oyo State Judicial Panel till April 28, 2021 to ascertain the status of the case in court.
3. Case No. OYJPPB/013
Bello Olusegun Kayode V. The Nigeria Police, Sango Police Station. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.
Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable him bring his witness.
With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel adjourned the petition till May 11, 2021 to enable the respondent open his defence.
4. Case No. OYJPPB/017
The Family of Late Abass Lawal Adekoya v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was present and was represented by Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.
The name of the petitioner is Lawal Halimat. She lives at (redacted) Ibadan. She is a trader. She said that she received a phone call on the 17th of April 2017 from Adenigbe Police Station. She said that one Aunty Toyosi, the IPO who was handling her brother’s case told her to bring clothes and food along when coming to the station. She said she was told that her brother was beaten by some people and was brought to the station for safety. She said that she was later informed that some guys came to the house where her brother was to beat him. She said that the police made all efforts to resolve the matter with those who beat him but all efforts proved abortive. She said the IPO also told her that her brother was taken to SARS because the matter was beyond them.
She said that she was there on the 19th of April, 2017 when her brother was taken to SARS but she was told to return after twenty-four or forty-eight hours. She said she didn’t return because her mother was sick and she had to take care of her.
She said she was later called on the phone by one Dapo from SARS who requested for the sum of N500,000. She said that she pleaded with Mr Dapo that she doesn’t have the money and she was told to come to the office. She said that she could only raise N99,000 and a few hundred as at that time. She said she later went to her mother’s place where she received a call from an unknown caller who identified himself as Charles and requested her to come to SARS office. She said that she didn’t meet with Charles but she was later advised to obtain the services of a legal counsel. She said that she met with a counsel who tried to help with the case and she later got to know that her brother had been transferred to Abuja.
She said that she went to Abuja where she spent two days before one Mummy Ayoola, a neighbour of hers called to inform her that she saw her brother at Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu when she went to receive treatment. With this development, she returned to Ibadan to see for herself.
She said she went to Adeoyo Hospital with her lawyer and it was there she saw that her brother’s name was written on the mortuary list. She said she later went back to demand for the corpse but the corpse wasn’t released because she wasn’t the one who deposited the corpse at the mortuary.
She said she inquired about what happened from the SARS officials and she was only told that it was a case of armed robbery. She said she asked if he was caught in the robbery act but she wasn’t given a response.
She said she later went to Petals FM at Bodija to talk about the issue on a program ‘Taloye’ and then she got a call from one Comrade Alonge of PRALAG [Prisons Rehabilitation and Law Abiding Organisation- an NGO] who requested to see her. She said she later went to the SARS office at Dugbe in company of Omotayo Yusuf, Ibrahim Arowosekila, Aminu Lawal, Folake Yusuf (late) and Comrade Alonge. She said that when they got to the office, the then Officer in Charge SARS, Mr Olushola Aremu, attended to them.
She said that Mr Dapo was also present and he explained to them that her brother was beaten and tortured from Adenigbe Police Station and was taken to the police hospital where he died. She said that she requested for his corpse but she was told that the corpse belongs to the government.
She said that a letter was written to the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State to demand for the release of the corpse. She said she later received a letter from SARS office to go and collect the corpse. She therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for a financial compensation of N10 million.
With this, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Ojedokun tendered the relevant documents which contains medical certificate for cause of death, SARS letter for the release of the corpse, receipt of payment made at Adeoyo Hospital, and photograph of the deceased before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore adjourned the petition till April 29, 2021 for further hearing to enable the respondent file an appropriate response.
5. Case No. OYJPPB/018
The Family of Late Mrs Shakirat Olaegbe v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The family was represented by Waheed Olaegbe and Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.). The respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.
The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah open his defence but he prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable him bring his witnesses. He told the panel that he intends to present three witnesses at the next adjourned date.
With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel adjourned the petition till May 5, 2021 to enable Mr Ojeah open his defence.
6. Case No. OYJPPB/034
Mr. Salami Sarafudeen v The Nigeria Police, Saki Area Command. The petitioner was absent but was represented by D. S. Olabode (Esq.). Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
The respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah opened his defence today with the appearance of a witness. He was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.
The name of the witness is Adewale Adeyemi. He is a sergeant attached to the monitoring unit, Eleyele Ibadan. He said he was formerly a SARS officer at Oke Ogun Station, Saki. He said he knows the petitioner, Salami Sarafudeen. He said that a robbery incident happened at Ago Aare in Oke Ogun Area on the 12th of December, 2019 at about 2:00am, at the resident of one Mrs Abigail Adebayo, who was a resident at Ago Aare area.
He said that the attention of Operation Burst was sought and the matter was transferred to Ago Aare station, where he was told to investigate the matter with an IPO. He said the issue was transferred on 4th January, 2020 and he took down the statement of Mrs Adebayo. He said she was taken to Oyo State Hospital at Tede for treatment, due to the injury she sustained from the incident.
He said that Mrs Adebayo narrated that the first suspect Mumineen Ibrahim entered through the roof of her house while he was searching, she noticed someone was inside the house. He said the woman stated that Mumineen was passing the stolen items to Salami Sarafadeen, the petitioner.
He said that the woman had written in her statement before she was taken to the hospital that the first suspect hit her on the head with a bottle of wine he had stolen, when she held him. With this, the witness identified the picture and statement of the complaint and it was tendered and admitted as exhibits.
He said that the SARS office charged the suspects with armed robbery and they were taken to the Magistrate Court at Oke Aare, Saki. He said that there was a police investigation report before the petitioner was charged to court.
With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel members and the petitioner’s counsel took turns to cross examine the witness and the petition was adjourned till May 11, 2021 for further hearing.
Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 3:55pm.