This is a report of the seventh 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, February 9, 2021.
Today’s panel sitting commenced at exactly 9:04am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.
Cases at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
1. Case No. OYJPPB/001 – Justice for Jimoh Isiaq
The families of Jimoh Isiaq, Moshood Ganiyu, Taiwo Adeoye, and Pelumi Olatunji v The Nigeria Police Area Command, Ogbomoso. The petitioners were present and were represented by Hussein Afolabi (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew represented the respondent at the sitting.
CSP Fawole stated that she was not served with the processes and has no idea if the Ogbomoso area command was served with the processes. Hon Justice B. O. Adeniji expressed her displeasure at how the petition is being handled as the petition came up for the first time on the 26th of January. She expected that the respondent would have been served and fresh hearing notices issued to the petitioner. She was disappointed, that the petitioners came to the sitting from Ogbomoso, only for the respondent to say they have not been served. Also, Hussein Afolabi (Esq.), the legal counsel to the petitioner told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the petitioners were present at the last sitting when the petition came up for the first time but the petition was adjourned before they could appear before the panel.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore directed the legal counsel to the panel, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, to serve the respondent right in the presence of everyone at the panel. The Chairperson, Hon Justice Adeniji, appealed to the petitioners and urged them to look for a place to stay in Ibadan a day to the hearing for their safety. In response Jimoh Isiaq’s father pleaded with the panel to help them get justice for the families as it has been their legal counsel who has been assisting the family with transport allowance to appear before the panel. The panel therefore assured the families that justice will be served and that the petition will definitely be heard on March 3, 2021.
With this, subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for definite hearing. All necessary replies by the police and the petitioner’s counsel was requested to be filed on or before February 26, 2021.
2. Case No. OYJPPB/003
New Covenant Church v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was absent at the hearing and was not represented by a legal counsel.
When asked about the position of the petition, the legal counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel, Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, said when the petition came up for the first time in January 26, 2021, the petitioner was absent but he was served a hearing notice. After the petition came up, she called the phone number on the petition and Rev T. Alabi whose name was on the petition said he is no longer a member of the assembly and he doesn’t know why his name was written on the petition but he would get back to the legal counsel. He called the next day to inform her that the petitioner is no longer interested in the petition.
With this, petition OYJPPB/003 was struck out in view of the fact that the petitioner’s representative, Rev Alabi, said that the petitioner is no longer interested in prosecuting the petition.
3. Case No. OYJPPB/061
Mrs C. O. Uwagbafor v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was present and was not represented by a legal counsel.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 23, 2021 for definite hearing to enable the petitioner appear with her legal counsel.
4. Case No. OYJPPB/062
Alhaja Olayinka Basirat Akinbo v. Dr. Mohammed T. T. Lawal. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel at the sitting. She wrote the petition against Dr. Mohammed T. T. Lawal and referenced the part played by the police. According to her, she got married to him on the 3rd of May, 1986 at Lagos Island but because of his job, they were transferred to Ibadan as he was employed with Adeoyo State Hospital at that time. She also transferred from her office so as to settle with her husband in Ibadan and has been a victim of domestic violence since then. Each time she got pregnant, he beat her and she only got to know about the pregnancy when she got to the hospital. She got pregnant the third time and decided to go to the Welfare Office to explain what had happened, and each time they gave them a date, Dr Lawal would cancel the appointment without informing her.
She stated that on one occasion, he locked her out, seized all of her belongings and her children, so she decided to approach the Welfare Office to rescue the children but he refused to let them come to her. She stopped going to the Welfare Office as it appeared that they were taking sides against her. According to her, one day, the police came to arrest her at work with a warrant she was remanded in custody at Iyaganku Police Station while being pregnant. She was then charged to court and the magistrate told her to return home with her children and that the matter should be settled amicably. On their way to the house, her husband hit a vehicle and got into an altercation with the driver of the other vehicle. She decided to step out of the vehicle since her children were asleep only for her husband to get into the vehicle, and drive off with the children. He refused to allow her enter the house when she got home.
Afterwards, she left to stay with her parents and delivered a child on the 18th of November, 1993. On the 10th day after delivery, she was at her family’s compound when he showed up again but her step mother didn’t allow him into the house. She thereafter filed a case against him at Grade A magistrate court in Ebute Metta. She said she was rescued recently by Olumide Ayoola Giwa (Esq.) who wrote the petition on her behalf after she was locked up at Agodi prison by her husband. She prayed the panel to restrain her husband, Dr Lawal from threatening her peace and quietness and to also make the respondent release her property and pay for the ones he sold without her consent.
Having heard her petition, the Oyo State Judicial Panel urged her to include the police in her petition so as to make the petition fall under the jurisdiction of the judicial panel. Hon Justice Adeniji also advised the petitioner to see the counsel at the state secretariat in order to obtain pro bono services as provided by the Nigerian Bar Association and that she also needed to see the panel with any member of her family before the next sitting.
Therefore, the petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 23, 2021 for mention to enable the petitioner obtain the services of a pro bono counsel and to also issue a fresh hearing notice to the respondent.
5. Case No. OYJPPB/063
Alhaji Kaharu M. Adeyemi v Nigeria Police, Alabebe Police Station. The petitioner was present at the sitting but was not represented. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole agreed she was served with the petition and the hearing notice and that the response had been prepared to that effect but was yet to be filed. The petitioner was informed about the pro bono services offered by the Nigerian Bar Association, Oyo State Chapter and he told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he would like to obtain the service of the legal counsel.
Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till February 23, 2021 for mention to enable the petitioner obtain the services of a pro bono counsel.
6. Case No. OYJPPB/064
Mr Ajani Toheeb v Nigeria Police, Ojoo Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by Olaide Fapohunda (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole agreed she had been served but was working to get the Investigating Police Officer and other materials needed to react to the petition due to the fact that the police station was burnt and demolished and the officers attached to the jurisdiction are yet to get a placement.
In this case, the petitioner was hit by a stray bullet fired by a police officer. According to the petitioner, the day he was hit was a Tuesday which was Ojoo market day where people come from far and wide to patronize him as he sells crayfish. He noticed that people were gathered and he was suddenly hit by a bullet and it was onlookers who rescued him. He stated that he had spent over one million naira just to fix his leg but that he needed more money as the doctor’s report states that he needs to be operated upon to replace the iron which has been used to support his leg. He therefore prayed that the Oyo State Government should come to his rescue as he had spent all his resources on treatment.
Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till February 23, 2021 for mention.
7. Case No. OYJPPB/065
Mr Saheed Olanrewaju v The D. P. O, Mokola Police Station. The petitioner, who was the younger brother of the deceased, Waheed Olanrewaju, was present and was represented by Adekola Kareem (Esq.) and Ajibola Alarape (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.
CSP Fawole stated that the matter is being investigated by the State C. I. D in Abuja but she is currently working on the response.
Adekola Kareem (Esq.) expressed shock at the assertion by CSP Fawole that the matter is being investigated by the State C. I. D. because he wrote to the Commissioner of Police not the State C. I. D. He stated that he didn’t get a reply and so he decided to take advantage of the judicial sitting to write the petition to the Oyo State Judicial Panel. He said that he believed if there was a response, it should have been filed before now. According to the legal counsel, the case is about the brother of the petitioner who was killed and the case was reported to Mokola Police Station and instead of investigating a murder case, the station was investigating a rape case against the deceased and this was why the petitioner approached the panel for justice as the corpse of the deceased is yet to be found even though it was reported to have been deposited at the mortuary by unknown persons.
The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 23, 2021 for mention to enable the respondent file a response to the petition.
8. Case No. OYJPPB/066
Mr Jurgen Johnson v SARS Dugbe, Ibadan. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a counsel. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent.
The petitioner stated that on November 2012, he was at Mobil to get a document from a friend who was on his way to Lagos. He was arrested by SARS operatives and taken to the office at Dugbe and accused of being involved in a robbery case in which a vehicle was stolen and parked at the toll gate. He was detained for three days and the owner of the vehicle was brought in to identify the petitioner and three others. She said they were not the robbers who attacked her and stole her vehicle. On the sixth day, the petitioner’s brother contacted a lawyer who wrote the AIG Zone 11, Osogbo and copied the office of the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State and he was released seven days after the petition was written. The petitioner stated that his phone, wrist watch and Bluetooth device were collected as exhibits but he was told to pay to retrieve them. He didn’t pay, so he couldn’t retrieve the items.
Subject to the convenience of the Oyo State Judicial Panel, the petition was adjourned till February 23, 2021 for mention to enable the respondent file a response to the petition and to also enable the petitioner obtain the services of a pro bono counsel.
9. Case No. OYJPPB/067
Mr. Anishere Abolade v Inspector Dorcas, Area Command Apata. The petitioner was present at the sitting but did not have a legal representative. The respondent was represented by CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 23, 2021 for mention to enable the respondent file a response to the petition and for the petitioner to obtain the services of a pro bono counsel.
10. Case No. OYJPPB/068
Ministry of Public Works V. I. S Department v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was represented by Engineer James Adegbemiyo Ajani (the Director, Vehicle Inspection Service), Engineer Kikelomo Oyeyemi Adeoye (the Zonal Commander, Monatan Station, V. I. S) and Aremu Olayiwola (the Admin. Officer V. I. S). The petitioner was not represented by a legal counsel.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 23, 2021 to enable the petitioner consult the Ministry of Justice for legal representation at the sitting.
11. Case No. OYJPPB/069
Mr Kolawole Owoade v Nigeria Police Force (Defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad Oyo/ Ogbomoso Command, Durbar, Oyo). The petitioner was present and represented by Abiola Ahmed (Esq.) and Abisolajesu Afolabi (Esq.). While the respondent was represented by CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 23, 2021 to enable the respondent file a reply to the petition.
12. Case No. OYJPPB/069
Mr Adebayo Olaide v The Inspector General of Police and three others. The petitioner was present at the sitting and represented by Deborah O. Sadiq (Esq.), who held the brief on behalf of Abiodun Ogunjimi (Esq.), the legal representative of the petitioner. It was however established that the petitioner had instituted an action in court prior to the hearing and a judgement had been passed earlier on the case. Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew.
The Oyo State Judicial Panel maintained that the petition is not within the jurisdiction of the judicial panel.
The petition was adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till February 25, 2021 for mention to enable Barr. Abiodun Ogunjimi appear before the Oyo State Judicial Panel to shed more light on the petition and to advise him where necessary.
Petition for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel
13. Case No. OYJPPB/004
Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps v Unknown Protesters. The petitioner was represented by CSC Aluko Emmanuel Olusola, ASP Olasedidun Ademola Gbenga and ASC Ibrahim Sulaiman Ayobami. The petitioner was also represented at the sitting by a legal counsel, K. O. Babatunde (Esq.).
According to K. O. Babatunde (Esq.), the petition was written to the governor to seek restitution concerning the materials that were looted and vandalized during the #EndSARS protest. The Oyo State Judicial Panel asked the petitioner why he didn’t seek the help of the Federal Government since the agency is not within the purview of the state government. K. O. Babatunde (Esq.), stated that the Federal Government had been briefed but had given no response.
The first witness called to the witness stand was ASP Olasedidun Ademola Gbenga. He works with NSCDC as the division officer for Iseyin Central. According to him, there was a protest in Iseyin on the 22nd of October, 2020. During the protests, some youths stormed the NSCDC office at Iseyin and vandalized it as well as stole some of the office items. He listed some of the vandalized and stolen items as:
- Window panes
- Furniture including door
- A patrol van
- Two Bajaj Motorcycles
- Security gadgets like handcuffs and leg cuffs
- Electric and wooden baton
According to him, the incident was reported immediately it happened to the head office in Ibadan. He provided the panel with twenty-three pictures from the scene as evidence which were marked exhibit A1 to A23. He stated that the Monarch of Iseyin, had restored the window es, the doors and the electricity at the office. The Corps therefore prayed the government to provide the patrol van, motorcycles and the security gadgets. According to him, apart from the official car, three of the officers’ cars were also vandalized. He was cross examined by the Oyo State Judicial Panel about the insurance status of the office equipment and the officers’ cars and he said he wasn’t sure if the office equipment was insured but the officers’ cars were not.
The second witness called to the stand was Assistant Superintendent of Corps 1 (ASP 1) Ibrahim’s Sulaimon Ayobami. He is a public servant under the Ministry of Interior and has been working for about two years as the divisional officer in charge of NSCDC, Ogbomoso Central Local Council Development Area. According to the witness, on the 12th of October, 2020 at about 3am, hoodlums took advantage of the #EndSARS protest that happened in Ogbomoso to attack the NSCDC Office. He stated that the office was looted and vandalized and that the windows were broken to gain entrance into the office. He listed the items carted away as follow:
- Ceiling fan – 1
- Standing Fan – 1
- 14 Inches colored Sharp television – 1
- One office table and two chairs
He told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that the matter was reported to the state commander through the area commander in charge of area c. He tendered four pictures in evidence from the scene to show that the items were vandalized. The pictures were marked and admitted as exhibit B1 – B4. C. S. P Ibrahim Sulaiman Ayobami pleaded with the government to replace the looted and vandalized materials, so that the agency can serve the society better. The legal counsel to the panel asked if the state commander is aware of the list of items he spelt out at the scene, as the items were not listed in the petition. He informed the panel that he included the list of the looted items in the report submitted to the area commander.
To wrap up the hearing, Hon. Justice B. O. Adeniji reaffirmed that the Oyo State Judicial Panel is not expected to pass a judgement concerning any of the petitions but that recommendations would be made to the governor at end of the sitting, and he will reach out to the petitioners afterwards.
With this, the hearing came to a close at about 1:23pm.