Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 61

Table of Contents

This is a report of the sixty-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: Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:50am, 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/007

Mr Olayiwola Oyedokun v Nigeria Police, Bodija and Iyana-Offa Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by Abiodun Akinmoyo (Esq.) and B. O. Olatunji (Esq.). The respondent on the other hand was represented by CSP Funke Fawole and Mr M. A. Ojeah.

CSP Fawole, the respondent’s counsel said that she would present two witnesses before the Oyo State Judicial Panel for her defence. With that, the first witness, Inspector Adebayo Sunday was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

He is an officer of the Nigeria Police Force attached to Iyana-Offa Police Station. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated July 6, 2021 as his evidence in the matter.

He said that the petitioner before the Oyo State Judicial Panel is the father of one of the suspects involved in a case of theft and malicious damage. He said that the petitioner is not the person alleged by the complainant, to have committed the offence. He said that he was the leader of the team that investigated the matter.

He said that the complainant, Wale Emmanuel Shola Oyedokun approached the station on July 21, 2020 to report that while he was away from his farm, his brother’s son, Lanre Oyedokun was at his farm to steal his maize worth N20,000 and also destroyed his solar power system worth N850,000.

He said that he asked the complainant how they could locate the suspect, and he was told that Lanre stays with his father at Bodija, Ibadan. He said that due to the fact that Bodija doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of Iyana-Offa Police Station, he had to register the case at Bodija Police Station.

He said that when they got to the petitioner’s house to inquire about his son, they introduced themselves and thereafter asked about the whereabouts of his son. He said that the petitioner went into the house and brought out his cutlass and while he was still talking, hit him twice on his head.

He said that the officers with him had to go to Bodija Police Station for reinforcement, after which the petitioner was disarmed. He said that the petitioner was thereafter taken to the police station and was released to his daughter, who stood as his surety, the next day.

He said that three months after, he got a signal from the Police Headquarters, Eleyele that the petitioner reported that he was unlawfully detained by the officers of Iyana-Offa Police Station. He said that they were invited to the station and were made to record their statements but the petitioner did not show up. He said that several attempts made to reach out to the petitioner were futile.

He said that the petitioner’s son, Lanre Oyedokun who was accused of theft and malicious damage, never showed up at the police station after his father was released. He said that if the petitioner had not attacked him with the cutlass, he wouldn’t have been arrested and detained at the station.

With that, the witness was cross examined by the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Akinmoyo and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The second witness was thereafter invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.

The name of the second witness is Mr Timothy Obafaye. He is a sergeant attached to Iyana-Offa Police Station. He was the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case of theft and malicious damage, which was reported at the station on the 21st of July, 2020.

He said that he saw the petitioner for the first time on the 23rd of July, 2020. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath which he deposed on the 6th of July, 2021 as his evidence in the matter.

He said that they went to the petitioner’s house to inquire about the whereabouts of his son but after they had introduced themselves to the petitioner, he went into his house and came out with a cutlass with which he hit his team leader, Inspector Sunday, twice on his head. He said that his team leader was thereafter rushed to the hospital for treatment.

When accused of receiving N10,000 from the petitioner’s daughter, Wuraola Oyedokun who stood as the petitioner’s surety, the witness said that he didn’t receive any amount before releasing the petitioner on bail.

The witness was therefore cross examined by the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Akinmoyo and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

Having heard from the witnesses, petition OYJPPB/007 was adjourned sine die by the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

Picture of the Oyo State Judicial Panel hearing on June 30, 2021

2. Case No. OYJPPB/065

The Family of Late Waheed Olanrewaju v The DPO, Mokola Police Station. The family was represented by Saheed Olanrewaju and a legal counsel, Adekola Kareem (Esq.). The respondent on the other hand, was represented by CSP Funke Fawole and Mr M. A. Ojeah.

Both parties involved in the petition had closed their cases. However, the Oyo State Judicial Panel requested for the appearances of three other key witnesses i.e. Iya Ife, Ife and the motorcyclist involved in the circumstances that led to the death of the deceased, in order to allow fair hearing.

In response, CSP Fawole, the respondent’s counsel said that she was not able to get in touch with the witnesses requested by the Oyo State Judicial Panel and all efforts had proven abortive.

In view of the fact that the petition had been adjourned on several occasions and the summoned witnesses had refused to appear before the Oyo State Judicial Panel, petition OYJPPB/065 was adjourned sine die.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

3. Case No. OYJPPB/090

Alfa Hamzat Ibrahim v Nigerian Correctional Service, Agodi Ibadan. The petitioner was present and was represented by A. S. Amiire (Esq.) who held the brief for J. O. Abdulsalam (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.

The counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele said that she was unable to serve the respondent because the panel ordered Mr Abdulsalam to write a letter to the Comptroller General in Abuja as regards the petition. She said that Mr Abdulsalam had informed the secretariat that the letter had been delivered to the Comptroller General in Abuja and a copy of the letter was also served on Nigerian Correctional Service, Agodi.

Mr Amiire, the petitioner’s counsel said that Mr Abdulsalam got a call from Abuja and was informed that the letter had been received by the Comptroller General and that the service was working on the petition. He however prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to allow the petitioner state his case while he awaits Nigerian Correctional Service’s response as regards the matter. With that, the petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The name of the petitioner is Hamzat Ibrahim. He lives at (redacted), Ibadan. Before the incident which rendered him partially blind, he was a motorcyclist. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath which was filed on June 29, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that he was supposed to undergo a surgery which would help prevent air from entering into his eye socket, but was yet to do so because he was financially incapacitated. He said that he spent a lot while he was at UCH, Ibadan and had nothing left on him.

He said that he depends on other motorcyclists for survival. He said that he had spent over a million naira for the treatment of his right eye which was shot at, by an officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to compensate him with the sum of N10 million to enable him continue with his treatment and to also allow him engage in a business that could accommodate his health status.

The witness was thereafter cross examined by the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel and with that, petition OYJPPB/090 was adjourned sine die.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji, the Chairperson of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, reassured the petitioners that recommendations would be forwarded to the Oyo State Governor, who would in turn reach out to them after the panel sitting must have been concluded.

With that, the hearing was brought to a close at about 12:45pm.