Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 51

Oyo State Judicial Panel in Session

Table of Contents

This is a report of the fifty-first 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: Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:37am, 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/087

Mr Adejumo Lekan Isaac v Nigeria Police, Ogbomoso Area Command. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Ayoola Ajayi (Esq.). Meanwhile, 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 last witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. With that, the witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the witness is Dr. Taiwo Adebisi Akinloye. He is a medical doctor at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso. He has been practicing for the past eight years. He is a senior registrar of the general surgery unit, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso. He lives at (redacted), Ogbomoso.

He said that he met the petitioner for the first time on the 11th of October, 2020 at about 1pm when he was brought into the hospital with injury on the left arm and a penetrating injury to the left upper abdomen. He said that upon inquiry, he was told that the petitioner was a victim of #EndSARS protest.

He added that the injury he saw on the petitioner in the operating theatre was a gunshot injury. He said that he was the physician in charge of the petitioner’s case and that he wrote the medical report which was signed by the hospital board.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Ajayi tendered the medical report before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and it was marked and admitted as exhibit.

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

With that, the petitioner brought his case to a close and the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till June 15, 2021 to enable the respondent open a defence.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/017

The Family of Late Abass Lawal Adekoya v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The family was represented by Lawal Alimat and Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel said that he would present only a witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel as his defence. With that, the witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the witness is Aghedo Charles. He is an Inspector with the Nigeria Police. He was formerly attached to the Special Anti Robbery Squad, Oyo State Command. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated June 3, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that he does not know the petitioner’s family but he knows one Abass Lawal who was a suspect in the case of an armed robbery transferred from Adelubi Police Station to SARS, Dugbe.

He said that the complainant reported that some unknown hoodlums attacked him and the deceased was among the hoodlums. He said that the deceased had severe matchet injuries because he was attacked by angry mobs before he was taken to Adelubi Police Station.

He said that the deceased was transferred from Adelubi Police Station to SARS, Dugbe on the 26th of April, 2017. He said that the deceased had bruises all over him when he was brought to SARS custody. He said that due to the bruises, the deceased was kept in an open cell for recuperation.

He said that he was however informed by the officers at the counter that his suspect complained of stomach pain and was taken to the police clinic at Eleyele.  He said that the deceased was later transferred to Adeoyo Hospital, Yemetu where he gave up the ghost. He said that the deceased was detained for six days but fell sick and died on the 2nd of May, 2017. He said that the body of the deceased was thereafter deposited at the morgue.

He said that he was not aware that the complainant, Lekan Ogundare and the deceased were friends. He said that his department had nothing to do with the death of Lawal Abass. He said that the complainant, Lekan Ogundare was charged to court for the death of the deceased but was exonerated based on the legal advice provided by the Ministry of Justice due to lack of sufficient evidence.

He said that he was not aware that Lekan Ogundare did not include the deceased’s name in his statement. He said that he was not aware that the deceased’s family visited the station and had a meeting with the Officer in Charge of SARS.

He identified and tendered the statements of the complainant, Ogundare Lekan and his witnesses which were recorded at Adelubi Police Station before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

He further said that the statements of Lawal Abass and Rasheed Kehinde were also recorded at SARS office, Dugbe before they were taken to the police clinic at Eleyele.

Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel tendered the statements of Lawal Abass and Rasheed Kehinde, medical cards of both hospitals, Coroner’s form for autopsy before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

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

Right after the cross examination, the Oyo State Judicial Panel stated that the matter would not be brought to a close today as there is a need to summon one Dapo who reached out to the deceased’s sister, Alimat Lawal and demanded money from her.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till June 15, 2021 for further hearing to enable Dapo from SARS office and Toyosi from Adelubi Police Station to appear before the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/039

Mr Olamide Onikosi v The Nigeria Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by Solomon Adegboyo (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba appeared on behalf of the respondent.

The petition was filed because the petitioner said that he was assaulted by the police and his properties were destroyed in the process. The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent present his last witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

The second witness, Nasiru Ahmed was therefore invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran. He resides at (redacted) Ojoo. He is a traffic warden attached to Iyaganku Police Station. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated June 2, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that he knows the petitioner because he witnessed how the petitioner broke the traffic rules and assaulted a police officer in the process. He said that he did not beat the petitioner nor did he break his car’s windscreen and phone screen.

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

The respondent thereafter closed his case and the petition was adjourned sine die.

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Day 51 of Oyo State Judicial Panel in Session

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

4. Case No. OYJPPB/089

Pastor Ajayi Opeyemi Isaac v The Nigeria Police, Akanran Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by M. O. Olagunju (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba maintained appearances on behalf of the respondent.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olagunju said that the petitioner is the only relevant witness to the petition. The petitioner was therefore invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the petitioner is Ajayi Opeyemi Isaac. He lives at (redacted) Akanran Ibadan.  He is a pastor. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated May 7, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that the petition was filed due to the refusal of the police to grant him access to his property. He said that he bought a property beside Akanran Police station on 28th July, 2017. He said that he made the necessary enquiries regarding the property before making payment and a document was made to that effect.

He said that the property is a bungalow with 4 rooms. He said that for the past four years that he had purchased the house, the police refused to grant him access into the building.

He said that when the police denied him access to the property, he reported the matter to the Alakanran of Akanran, who gave him a letter to the Division Police Officer of Akanran Station, but he refused to accept the letter.

He said that the Alakanran of Akanran then wrote a petition dated 19th September, 2017 to the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, but he was yet to get a reply.

He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to help him retrieve his property from the police and also compensate him with the sum of N2 million.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olagunju tendered the land sale agreement, the letter to the Commissioner of Police and the photograph of the property before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

The witness was thereafter cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

With that, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till June 15, 2021 to enable the respondent open a defence.

5. Case No. OYJPPB/092

Mr Azeez Jabaru v Nigeria Police, Mokola Station. The petitioner was represented by his grandmother, Mrs Alimat Akinyemi and a legal counsel, M. O. Olagunju (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah and Mrs B. K. Olorukooba.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olagunju prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment because the concerned police officer, Inspector Momoh had failed to appear before the panel.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel however pointed out that when the petition came up for the first time, the petitioner couldn’t appear before the panel because he was in police custody. She however added that the petition had been adjourned on four different occasions since the petitioner was released from custody, and he had only appeared once.

Mrs Ogundele therefore said that the petition should be opened on the next adjourned date whether Inspector Momoh was present or not.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel however warned that the petition would be struck out if the petitioner fails to appear on the next adjourned date.

The petition was thereafter adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till June 15, 2021 for definite hearing or striking out.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 5:01pm.