Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 39

Table of Contents

This is a report of the thirty-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 House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:25am, shortly after the arrival of the Oyo State Judicial Panel members.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/079

The Family of Late Tosin Thomas v Oyo State Security Network (Amotekun). The family was represented by Toyin Thomas, Akinjide Sadiq (Esq.) and Ibironke Sadiq (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr Olusola Orobode.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr Orobode prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment because a copy of the amended petition was served on him yesterday. However, the panel maintained that the hearing would be opened today because there was little or no difference between the amended petition and the previously filed petition. With this, the first witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the first witness is Alamu Thomas. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He specialises in interior decoration. He said the Late Tosin Thomas was his nephew. He said his nephew died on January 13, 2021. He said the incident that led to his nephew’s death happened at Total Filling Station, Mokola Roundabout, Ibadan.

He said the Late Tosin Thomas was with him in his house, when his mum called him on the phone at about 9pm to come and help her pack in her wares. He said they both left the house to meet his mother because he had intended to buy what to eat as well. He said when they got to Total Filling Station, Mokola Roundabout, he suddenly heard a gunshot. He said he looked around and realised that the gun had hit Tosin. He said he made an attempt to hold him but the Amotekun Corps pointed the gun at him and this made him run to a safe place from where he was able to see all that transpired at the scene of the incident afterwards.

He said that the bullet was fired by Amotekun operatives and he was able to recognise the shooters as Amotekun operatives because they were on uniform. He said that Tosin’s mum came to the scene and one of the Amotekun operatives pointed the gun at her after which she gripped his uniform and tore it in the process.

He said that because she wouldn’t let go, the other operatives present at the scene slapped and hit her on the head with the gun. He said that they made an attempt to rescue Tosin because he was still breathing as at the time of the incident, but they were prevented by the Amotekun operatives.

He said after this, the operatives shot in the air and used the opportunity to escape. He said that after the Amotekun operatives had left, the Late Tosin Thomas was taken to the University College Hospital, Ibadan where he was pronounced dead by medical personnel. He said with this, they took the corpse to his mother’s house at Ode Olo, Ibadan.

The witness was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Olusola Orobode and the members of 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 Toyin Thomas. She lives at (redacted) Ibadan. She sells food under the bridge at Mokola Roundabout. She is the mother of the Late Tosin Thomas. She said that Tosin was her first and only son. She said he was 21 years old as at the time of the incident.

She said she called Tosin on the phone, on the 13th of January, 2021 after she had finished selling for the day, to assist her pack in her wares. She said that shortly after she had called Tosin on the phone, she heard the sound of a gunshot but she does not know what happened. She said not long, somebody came to inform her that Tosin was hurt and that he was at Total Filling Station.

She said she ran to the scene and the Amotekun Operatives were about to lock the entrance gate of the filling station but she forced her way in. She said she made an attempt to reach out to her son but she was stopped by one of the Amotekun operatives.

She said that she gripped his cloth and tore it. She said due to this, she was slapped and hit with a gun on the head and pushed to the ground. She said that the Amotekun operatives had escaped from the scene of the incident after shooting sporadically into the air. She said that Tosin was thereafter taken to the University College Hospital, Ibadan where he took his last breath. She said his corpse was thereafter taken to her grandma’s house at Ode Olo, Ibadan

She said that she told people to take the pictures of the corpse and post them on social media for people to know that her son was killed by Amotekun operatives.

With this, the petitioner’s counsel, Akinjide Sadiq (Esq.) tendered the photographs before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits. She said that his corpse was thereafter embalmed at Adeoyo State Hospital, Ring Road.

She said that she later went to report the incident to Amotekun Area Commandant, who gave her a note for burial permit and N50,000. She said that the corpse was buried eight days later. She therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to ensure that the corps writes an apology letter to her admitting that her son was killed by an operative of the corps and also compensate her with the sum of N10 million.

With this, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Akinjide tendered the receipt for the post mortem and the letter for burial permit before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

The witness was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Orobode and the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till May 19, 2021 to enable the respondent open a defence.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/080

Mr Emiola 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, Emiola David Oluwaponmile was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He is a farmer and a poultry consultant. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial to adopt the written statement on oath which he deposed before the panel on the 19th of April, 2021, as his evidence before the panel. He had written the petition because an operative of the Operation Burst had violated his fundamental human rights by publicly shaving his hair. He said this made him depressed because the video had trended on social media and only took the effort of his family and friends, to talk him out of suicide.

The petitioner said that the incident which happened on November 1, 2020 had no connection with the #EndSARS protest even though the #EndSARS protest, which started in September 2020 had prompted the governor of Oyo State to deploy the officers of Operation Burst to Bere axis, in order curb violence. He said the operative who mistreated him was putting on an army uniform.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Akingbade therefore tendered the picture of Hon Kazeem Bolarinwa’s response to the petitioner’s tweet, the picture of the petitioner’s interview with BBC reporter, the printed copy of the Facebook page of yabaleft.com before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to direct the office of Operation Burst to write him an apology letter and the said letter should be published on Nigerian Tribune and should also be posted on social media because that was the means by which he made known his grievances.

He also prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to compensate him with the sum of N1 million for the gross violation of his fundamental human rights.

With this, the petitioner was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Babalola and the petition was adjourned sine die.

Picture of the public hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel on April 27, 2021

3. Case No. OYJPPB/082

The Family of Late Gbadebo Kolade Abiodun v The Oyo State Security Network (Amotekun). The family was represented by Gbadebo Ganiu and A. B. Bello (Esq.). The respondent was represented by Mr Olusola Orobode.

The petitioner, Gbadebo Oni Ganiu was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He was the father of the Late Gbadebo Kolade Abiodun. He is a newspaper vendor. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath which was dated 12th of April, 2021 as his evidence before the panel.

He said that the deceased’s younger siblings had reached out to him on the 18th of December, 2021 to inform him that his son had been shot. He said that the deceased was 26 years old as at the time of the incident. He further appreciated the efforts of the Oyo State Judicial Panel in ensuring that the corpse was released to the family because the corpse was withheld by the Amotekun Corps prior to the commencement of the sitting.

He said his son was a student of the Federal College of Education Special, Oyo which is an affiliation of the University of Ibadan. He said that the registrar of the institution wrote a letter of condolence to sympathise with the family because the deceased was shot dead three months before his university graduation.

He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to award the deceased’s two children scholarship up until university level and to also compensate the family with the sum of N50 million.

With this, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Bello tendered the post mortem report from the department of pathology, UCH Ibadan, condolence letter from the Federal College of Education Special, Oyo, the burial permit and the photographs of the deceased before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr Orobode pointed out during his cross examination that the investigation carried out had shown that the deceased was caught with a locally made gun at the scene of the incident where he had mounted a road block alongside Soliu Habeeb and Adebayo Habeeb at about 12:45am and had pointed the gun at one of the Amotekun operatives before he was shot dead. He also said that Soliu Habeeb had testified that the deceased was a kingpin to an armed robbery gang.

However, the petitioner responded that in the process of ensuring that Kolade was buried he met with two other people who were arrested at Iyaganku Police Station. He said they told him that they do not know Kolade and that Amotekun operatives had arrested them at a food canteen where they were eating after the incident had happened.

With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till May 20, 2021 for the respondent to open a defence and to enable the petitioner’s counsel file the necessary response.

Petitions for Further Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

4. 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 and Muyideen Olagunju (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and B. K. Oloorukoba.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence. However, the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah had told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he had been served but was not privy to the conclusion at the last adjourned date. He therefore prayed the panel for a final adjournment to enable him acquaint himself with the petition.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olagunju prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to summon Inspector Toyin Ogunlade, an officer attached to Igana Area Command and Inspector Olusola Areo, an officer attached to the commissioner of police in charge of monitoring, as they are relevant to the case.

With this, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till May 19, 2021 for further hearing to enable the respondent open his case. The panel also ordered that a letter of summons should be issued and served on Inspector Toyin Ogunlade and Inspector Olusola Areo.

5. Case No. OYJPPB/085

Temidire Planks Association v The Nigeria Police, Egbeda Station and Operation Burst. The petitioner was represented by Adeyemo Adeniji and Adeboye Adetayo (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the first respondent while Mr Kayode A. Babalola represented the second respondent.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Adetayo prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to replace the petition dated 23rd of February, 2021 with the amended petition filed on the 22nd of April, 2021.

It was however pointed out that the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Adetayo had failed to serve and file the petition but had instead filed the petitioner’s statement on oath before the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

The petition was therefore adjourned till May 6, 2021 to enable the petitioner regularise the petition and to also ensure that the petition is filed before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and served on the respondent.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 4:30pm.