Case Struck Out at the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry – Day 37

Picture of panellists at the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry sitting on April 21, 2021

Table of Contents

This is a report of the thirty-seventh 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, April 21, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:29am, shortly after the arrival of the Oyo State Judicial Panel members.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/042

Pastor Ayekunle Ayeleke v Commissioner of Police, Lagos State. The petitioner was present and was represented by Oyedeji Mosebolaji (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the petitioner is Pastor Ayeleke Idowu. He lives at (redacted) Ogbomosho. He is a civil servant at the (redacted). He said that he was arrested by Area ‘F’ Police Command on the 8th of April, 2006 and was not told what his offence was. He said he was taken to his family house at Igbeti where he was paraded.

He said that the police called him a thief several times without telling him what his offence was. He said the police also threatened to shoot him if he tried to escape despite the fact that his hands were cuffed. He said that the police searched his family house at Igbeti and his place of residence in Oyo. He said his wedding pictures were taken in the process to Lagos. He said that he wasn’t well treated and he was exposed to cold despite the fact that he is a sickle cell patient. He said that the police refused to charge him to court but chose to torture him instead.

He said that due to the intervention of a military man, one Alhaji Kasali who called the station and requested to speak with him, he was charged to Customary Court 10 at Ikeja, very close to Ikeja Police Station. He said that he wants the Nigeria Police to write and publish an apology letter in four different daily newspapers for malicious prosecution and defamation of character. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for a financial compensation of N25 million and every other relief deemed fit by the Oyo State Judicial Panel. With this the second witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the second witness is Olaonipekun Ebenezer. He is a pastor at a church. He said that he filed a statement on oath before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and therefore prayed the panel to adopt the statement as his evidence.

With this, the witness was cross examined by the Oyo State Judicial Panel members and the petition was adjourned till May 12, 2021 for further hearing to enable the panel communicate to the Inspector General of Police.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/080

Mr Erinola David Oluwaponmile v Nigeria Police, Operation Burst. The petitioner was present and was represented by S. S. Akingbade (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Kayode A. Babalola.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Akingbade told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he would like to replace the old petition with the amended petition which was filed on April 19, 2021. However, Mr Babalola interjected that he had not been served with the amended petition.

It was therefore pointed out that Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel had mistakenly served the new petition on the Police Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Funke Fawole instead of Operation Burst.

With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel adjourned the petition till April 27, 2021 to enable the service of the amended petition.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/085

Temidire Planks Association v The Nigeria Police, Egbeda Station and Anor. The petitioner was present and was represented by Kehinde Owoade (Esq.), Olufisayo Fagbemi (Esq.) and A. I. Adetayo (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba. The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the petitioner is Adeyemo Adeniji. He is a sawmiller. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He said that the government during the administration of Hon Popoola gave the sawmillers land to build the market in 1985, however the Oyo State Government during the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, gave the association an eviction letter. He said the police came to chase, harass and injure him. He said he was arrested alongside five other people and they were taken to Gbagi Police Station.

He said that the DPO told the officers to take them to SARS Dugbe, where they were detained in the police custody for seven days. He said that they were denied bail and were charged to the Magistrate Court, Iwo Road where they were charged for malicious damage. He said the matter was in court from February till December and during this period some people had started building houses on the land. He said that the matter was eventually struck out on 17th December, 2018. He therefore tendered a copy of the judgement before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and it was marked and admitted as exhibit.

He prayed the government to compensate him with the sum of N50 million while the association should be compensated with the sum of N500 million.

The witness was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel after which the petition was adjourned till April 27, 2021 for further hearing.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/069

Mr Kolawole Owoade v Nigeria Police Force. The petitioner was present and was represented by J. D. Rufai (Esq.). Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence and to present his witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. However, the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah said that he was not able to reach out to his witness and therefore prayed the panel for an adjournment to enable him present his witness.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore adjourned the petition till May 11, 2021 for further hearing to enable the respondent present his witness. The panel however warned that the respondent’s failure to present a witness at the next adjourned date would amount to the closure of the petition.

Picture of the public hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel on April 21, 2021

5. Case No. OYJPPB/052

Mr Moyebi Ayowale v The Nigeria Police, Arowomole Ogbomosho. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel said that the petition had appeared today for the fourth time and the petitioner had never been present before the panel. She further said that the petitioner currently resides in Ondo State and when she called him on the phone, he agreed to be heard via Zoom.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore tried to connect with the petitioner via Zoom but all efforts were abortive. With this, the panel struck out the petition for lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the petitioner.

6. 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, 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. However, he said that Inspector Adetutu, the witness he had intended to present before the Oyo State Judicial Panel, was indisposed. He therefore prayed the panel for an adjournment.

With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel adjourned the petition till May 18, 2021 to enable the respondent present his witness as well as open a defence.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/093

Re: Mr. Olatunde Gbenga Request for Medical Assistance. The petitioner was present and he opted to represent himself.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel pointed out that the petition was not properly drafted as the petitioner had made Oyo State Governor, a party to the petition. The panel therefore told the petitioner to approach the secretariat to get the name of a pro bono counsel who would help him amend the petition. The panel also ordered the petitioner to present the receipts of his medical expenses at the next adjourned date.

With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel adjourned the petition till May 6, 2021 for further hearing to enable the petitioner obtain the services of a pro bono counsel.

8. Case No. OYJPPB/095

Mr Ajekigbe Sunday v Unknown Hoodlum. The petitioner was present but opted to represent himself. He also presented a second witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the petitioner is Ajekigbe Sunday. He resides at (redacted) Iseyin. He operates a business centre. He identified and prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his statement on oath as his evidence before the panel.

He said everything in his shop was damaged by the hoodlums who hijacked the last #EndSARS protest. He tendered the pictorial evidence of the damaged properties before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits. He prayed the panel for a compensation of N11 million.

With this, the Oyo State Judicial Panel members took turns to cross examine him because the damaged properties listed in the petition did not correspond with that in the pictures after which the second witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the second witness is Ishola Isaac Olushola. He resides at (redacted) Iseyin. He is a retired teacher. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his sworn oath as his evidence before the panel. He provided the cost list of items that were carted away and vandalised by the unknown hoodlums during the last #EndSARS protest.

With this, the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel took turns to cross examine the witness based on the facts contained in the petition. The petition was therefore adjourned sine die.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 3:38pm.