This is a report of the sixty-third and final 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 13, 2021.
Today’s sitting commenced at about 10:13am, shortly after the arrival of the Oyo State Judicial Panel members.
Petition for Further Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. 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.). The respondent on the other hand was represented by CSP Funke Fawole.
The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence. The respondent’s counsel, CSP Fawole told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that she would present a witness. With that, the witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Bible.
The name of the witness is CSP Adekanye Elijah. He is the Divisional Police Officer of Akanran Police Station. He was posted to Akanran Police Station on the 14th of January, 2021. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath as his evidence.
He said that he appeared before the Oyo State Judicial Panel due to the petition written by Pastor Isaac to accuse the police station of illegally taking over his property, which is situated within the premises of Akanran Police Station.
He said that the evidence contained in his written statement on oath is meant to inform the Oyo State Judicial Panel, that the property in question rightfully belongs to the Nigeria Police.
He said that the family of Obisesan, a family resident in Akanran Community gave the land to Akanran Police Station in 1975 for the purpose of public interest. He said that a survey document, which was prepared by the works department had shown that some of the existing structures on the land should be demolished. He said that the police was yet to do so because of financial constraints.
He said that he does not know the land’s exact measurement but the distance between the building and the police station is about 15 meters because it is situated directly in front of the police station.
He said that the land originally belonged to the family of Obisesan before it was given to the police. He said that it is not allowable for a civilian to live within the premises of the police. He said that he was not aware that an old woman, popularly known as Iya Olodoeja lived in the building, before her demise.
With that, the witness was cross examined by the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Olagunju and members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel.
In an effort to get to the root of the matter and to ascertain the truth about the ownership of the property, the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel proceeded to Akanran Police Station, to clarify the ambiguity in the evidences given before the panel.
When asked, Chief Ramoni Yusuf, a member of the Obisesan family said that the petitioner bought the land situated within the premises of the police station from Iya Olodoeja’s nephew, Ademola. He said that Iya Olodoeja bought the building on behalf of her brother, who also lived with her in the house before his demise.
He said that the land purchased by the petitioner is not a part of the land given to the police by the Obisesan-Aperin family. He said that many years ago, the community was attacked by some warriors and most of the residents had to flee the community.
He said that the Obisesan family gave a part of the land to the police to enable the officers secure the lives and properties of the people, remaining in the community.
He said few years ago, the police came to the land with surveyors to measure the land and the family members became worried after the petitioner said that he was denied access to the land he had bought. He said the case was reported to the king and the local government chairman with the hope of getting it solved amicably, but didn’t know the matter was yet to be resolved.
With that, the Chairman of Ona Ara Local Government Area, Musbaudeen Adesina, assured the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the matter would be settled amicably with a promise that another land would be allocated to the petitioner.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel members therefore proceeded to inspect the land and the buildings within the premises of Akanran Police Station.
The petition was thereafter adjourned sine die.
Petition for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
2. Case No. OYJPPB/098
Mrs Oseni Fatiat Adeola v Inspector Clement Olanrewaju and Two Others. The petitioner was present and was represented by Olayinka Onasanya (Esq). Meanwhile, the respondent was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel.
The petition was last adjourned to enable the petitioner give her evidence regardless of the respondent’s availability. Therefore, the petitioner’s counsel, Mrs Onasanya told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that she would present two witnesses.
With that, the petitioner, Fatiat Adeola Oseni was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran. She lives at (redacted) Ibadan. She is a hair stylist. She prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt her written statement on oath which was deposed on the 28th of June, 2021 as her evidence.
She said that she had left for her shop at about 2pm on the 28th of June, 2018 when she was suddenly stopped by police officers. She said the police officers walked up to her, slapped and brutalised her without telling her what she had done.
She said she was asked about the cars parked at the front of her house and she told the police officers that the cars were parked by a mechanic who was working in the neighbourhood. She said that she was thereafter accused of purchasing stolen cars.
She said that she was taken to SARS, Dugbe and was later taken to SARS, Ikeja. she said that she was detained for two weeks but was released after her lawyer wrote a petition to the AIG in Osun State and a sum was paid for her bail.
She therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to compensate her with the sum of N10 million.
With that, the petitioner was cross examined by the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel after which the second witness was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.
The name of the second witness is Oseni Yunisa Omolewa. He lives at (redacted) Ibadan. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated June 28, 2021 as his evidence.
He said that on the date of the incident, he was with other Muslim faithful praying in the mosque, when he was suddenly beckoned. He said he was told that his brother’s wife was being brutalised by the police. He said that due to the shooting, everyone hid in fear and no one came to her rescue.
He said that he made a video recording of what happened from where he was hiding. He said that the petitioner was taken to SARS, Dugbe from where she was thereafter taken to SARS, Ikeja.
He said that he was informed on the phone that she had been transferred to Ikeja. He said that he went to Lagos to check up on her and was told that she was selling stolen vehicles.
He said that the family paid the sum of N200,000 before she was released after about two weeks in detention.
The petitioner’s counsel, Mrs Onasanya tendered a copy of the disk containing the video recording before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and it was marked and admitted as exhibit.
The witness was therefore cross examined by the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel after which the petition was adjourned sine die.
Oyo State Judicial Panel Hearings Closed
Having gone through the proceedings for today, Hon Justice Badejoko Olateju Adeniji, the Chairperson of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, stated that the 10-man committee panel was set up by the Oyo State Government on the 10th of November, 2020 based on the directives of the federal government, as a result of the nationwide #EndSARS protest which was used by the youth, to express their grievances about the issues of police brutality and human rights violations.
She said that the Oyo State Judicial Panel received and investigated complaints of police brutality and related extra judicial killings, evaluated the evidences tendered and would as well make recommendations for compensation. She added that the panel received a total of 163 petitions.
She concluded by appreciating the executive governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, the office of the Secretary to the State Government, the legal counsels to the police department, clerks of the House of Assembly, the press and the Oyo State Judicial Panel Members for their efforts which made the public hearings a success.
With that, Hon Justice Badejoko Olateju Adeniji, a former Chief Judge of Oyo State and the Chairperson for the Oyo State Judicial Panel, declared the public hearing closed at about 3:30pm.