Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 45

Table of Contents

This is a report of the forty-fifth 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, May 19, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:24am, shortly after the arrival of the Oyo State Judicial Panel members.

Petitions for Further Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

1. Case No. OYJPPB/031

The Family of Orelope Bashit Olaide v The Nigeria Police, Igana Area Command. The family was represented by Olatunji Saheed Orelope and a legal counsel, M. O. Olagunju (Esq.). While the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence. However, Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment because his two witnesses were not available. He said that his witnesses were not available because all the former Officers in Charge, SARS and their men were told to report in Abuja.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olagunju told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the petitioner wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Police when the incident happened and the commissioner referred the petition to CSP Sola Aremu, who was ordered to investigate the matter. He said that after the petitioner gave his evidence at the last adjourned date, CSP Funke Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal promised to do something on the matter.

He however said that he later went alongside with CSP Fawole and the petitioner to see the Commissioner of Police but they met with the Deputy Commissioner of Police. He said that the DCP called Sola Aremu on phone to inquire about the investigation and Sola Aremu responded that he had concluded the investigation and that he would furnish the office of the Officer in Charge Legal, with the report of his findings.

He further said his subsequent follow ups were futile as he was yet to get any information as regards the report of the findings.

In response, Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel said that he was not aware of the investigation and the report. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable him gather the necessary information about the report of the investigation.

The petition was therefore adjourned till June 10, 2021 to enable the respondent file the report of the investigation and for Mr Sola Aremu to appear before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The panel also ordered that a fresh summon should be issued and served on Mr Aremu.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/035

Mr Muraina Kadiri Adeyemi v The Nigeria Police, Iyaganku. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba maintained appearances on behalf of the respondent.

The petitioner opened and closed his case on the 14th of April, 2021 and the petition was adjourned till May 5, 2021 to enable the respondent open a defence. However, the petitioner was absent at the last adjourned date and he was not represented by a legal counsel.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel pointed out that the Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered the petitioner to amend his petition because it contained some irregularities. He further said that he didn’t prepare for the defence because he was yet to be served with the amended petition.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore decided to give the petitioner a final opportunity to appear before it.

With that, the petition was adjourned till June 1, 2021 for further hearing or striking out. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered that fresh hearing notices should be issued and served on the petitioner and his counsel.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/079

The Family of Late Tosin Thomas v Oyo State Security Network (Amotekun). The family was represented by Toyin Thomas and a legal counsel, Akinjide Sadiq (Esq.). While Mr Olusola Orobode appeared on behalf of the respondent.

The petitioner had opened and closed her case at the last adjourned date and the petition was adjourned for the respondent to open a defence.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr Orobode said that the force does not object to the request of the petitioner for compensation. He said that the force however objects to the allegation of extra judicial killing. He said that the Amotekun Corps had no previous engagement with the deceased before the incident and the deceased was never arrested neither was he accused of any crime.

He said that according to what he was told by the corps commandant, the incident happened on the 13th of January, 2021. He said that the force got an alert of a reported armed robbery operation at Total Filing Station, Mokola, Ibadan.

He said that the team of the Amotekun Corps immediately rushed to the scene of the alleged crime. He said that it however turned out to be a civil strife and not an armed robbery operation. He said that the team leader sensed no immediate danger to anyone at the scene, so he proceeded to see the manager of the filing station.

He said that those involved in the civil strife attacked the corps and the Amotekun Corps shot to scare the people because the hoodlums were armed with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons. He said the late Tosin Thomas was shot in process. He added that the eight officers who went to the scene on the said day, were thereafter dismissed from the corps.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel however expressed displeasure that the culprits were only dismissed without being made to face the wrath of the law. The panel therefore ordered the respondent’s counsel, Mr Orobode to provide the names of the dismissed corps and their force numbers because the officers must not go unpunished.

Thereafter, the petition was adjourned sine die.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/077

Mrs Sumbo Salami v The Nigeria Police, Adelubi Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by Deborah Oluyemisi Collins (Esq.) and Iheoma Ipinsokan (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Oloorukoba.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence. However, Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel said that the he was informed that his principal witness, woman Inspector Adeniyi Atinuke was indisposed and hospitalised at Eleyele Police Hospital.

The petition was therefore adjourned till June 1, 2021 to enable the respondent open his defence.

Picture of the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry hearing on May 19, 2021

5. Case No. OYJPPB/086

Akeem Babatunde and Abiola Babatunde v Inspector-General of Police and Three Others. The petitioners were absent but were represented by Abiodun Ogunjimi (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba maintained appearances on behalf of the respondents.

At the last adjourned date, Akeem Babatunde gave his testimony and the petition was adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence.

However, Mr Ogunjimi told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he would like to withdraw the petition because the petitioners wish to prosecute the matter in the regular court. He said that it was discovered that the officers who sealed the petitioner’s house were from Abuja and not the police who were brought before the panel, as a party to the petition.

In view of the application to withdraw the petition, petition OYJPPB/086 was struck out. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered that all the exhibits admitted hitherto should be returned to the petitioner’s counsel.

6. Case No. OYJPPB/042

Pastor Ayekunle Ayeleke v Commissioner of Police, Lagos State. The petitioner was present and was represented by Mosebolatan Oyedeji (Esq.). The respondent on the other hand, was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel said that the hearing notices and petition were served on the respondent through the courier service on three different occasions. She said that the first service on the Lagos State Commissioner of Police was effected on the 1st of March, 2021 and was subsequently served on the 5th of May, 2021 and on the 17th of May, 2021. She added that the respondent did not respond to the petition and also refused to appear before the panel.

In view of the respondent’s absence despite being served with the relevant document on several occasions, the Oyo State Judicial Panel decided that the respondent had no response. With that, the petition was adjourned sine die for recommendation.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/066

Mr Jurgen Johnson v SARS Dugbe. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. The respondent was represented by Mr. M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the petitioner present his letter of employment, letter of termination of employment and a copy of the letter he wrote to the Commissioner of Police. The petitioner tendered the documents before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

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

Thereafter, the petition was adjourned till June 8, 2021 to enable the respondent open a defence.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

8. Case No. OYJPPB/075

Mrs Oluwatoyin Oseni v The Nigeria Police, Ikeja Police Command and Oyo State Commissioner of Police. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. The first respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel, while the second respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel said that the policer officer in charge of the monitoring unit told her that the petitioner’s car had been found in Oyo.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore said that a letter would be written to the Commissioner of Police to request for the release of the car and the office of the Officer in Charge Legal would be sent a copy of the letter.

The petition was therefore adjourned till May 26, 2021 for hearing.

9. Case No. OYJPPB/045

Mr Daodu Ayoniyi Edward v The Nigeria Police, Iyaganku. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel. The respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel said that the petitioner was present at the last adjourned date and he had approached the panel to request for the services of a pro bono counsel. She said that the petitioner was attached to a pro bono lawyer and the petition was later adjourned till April 14, 2021 but the petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.

She further said that the petitioner was also absent on the 29th of April, 2021 and was not represented by a counsel. She said that a fresh hearing notice was served on the petitioner’s counsel to inform him that the petition would appear before the Oyo State Judicial Panel today and she could not give any reason for his absence.

Due to this, petition OYJPPB/045 was struck out for lack of diligent prosecution.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 11:52am.