Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality – Day 44

Table of Contents

This is a report of the forty-fourth 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, May 18, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:30am, 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/025

Alhaji Ganiyu Ajiboye Busari v Oyo State Police Command. The petitioner was present and was represented by Kingsley Ike (Esq.). Meanwhile, the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence, however the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah said that he discovered during the course of his investigation that the matter had been filed before the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal. He said that due to this, he didn’t prepare for a defence. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment.

In response, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Ike said that the matter in the regular court has nothing to do with the petition before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. He said that the matter in the regular court has to do with chieftaincy issues while the petition before the panel has to do with the violation of human rights.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel therefore ordered Mr Ojeah to provide proof which would show that the matter in the regular court is the same as the one before the panel.

The petition was thereby adjourned till June 10, 2021 for further hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel also ordered that all the relevant documents and ruling relevant to the petitioner’s case should be made available at the next adjourned date.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/053

Samuel Ogundeji v The Nigeria Police, Saki Area Command. The petitioner was absent but was represented by Ola Adeosun (Esq.), Opeyemi Makinde (Esq.) and Stephen David (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence, however the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah said that he cannot open his defence in the absence of the petitioner.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel disagreed with Mr Ojeah’s position because there was no need for the petitioner to be present since he had brought his case to a close.

The respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah therefore told the Oyo State Judicial Panel that he would rest his case on the petitioner’s evidence.

In view of this, the petition was adjourned sine die.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/057

Mrs Mosunmola Labinjo v Nigeria Police, Housing Police Station. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. While the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence, Mr Ojeah however prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment because his witness was indisposed.

The petition was therefore adjourned till June 1, 2021 for further hearing. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered Mr Ojeah to ensure that his witness appears before the panel at the next adjourned date.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/063

Alh. Kaharu M. Adeyemi v The Nigeria Police, Alabebe Division. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal counsel. While the respondent was represented by Mr M. A. Ojeah.

The petition was last adjourned to enable the respondent open a defence, however the petitioner said that his counsel was not available because he had other matters in the regular court. He apologised and prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for an adjournment to enable his counsel appear before the panel.

The petition was therefore adjourned by the Oyo State Judicial Panel till June 1, 2021 for further hearing to enable the respondent open a defence.

Petitions for Hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel

5. Case No. OYJPPB/019

Mr Sesan Opadotun v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was absent but was represented by his mother, Mrs Olunike Opadotun and a legal counsel, Mosebolatan Oyedeji (Esq.). Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mosebolatan Oyedeji prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt the petitioner’s written statement on oath which had been filed before the panel because Sesan Opadotun is critically ill and is in the Adeoyo State Hospital, Ring Road where he awaits his second surgery.

The Oyo State Judicial Panel stated that the petitioner’s mother, Mrs Olunike Opadotun cannot give testimony because she didn’t witness the incident and her testimony would be based on hearsay. The panel therefore adopted the petitioner’s written statement as his evidence.

Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele, the counsel to the Oyo State Judicial Panel however pointed out that the respondent was furnished with the name and the force number of the officer who shot the petitioner at the last adjourned date. She said that the respondent promised to file a response as well as present the officer before the panel but nothing was done in that regard.

In response, Mr Ojeah, the respondent’s counsel told the Oyo State Judicial Panel to serve a summon on the said officer through the office of the Police Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Funke Fawole.

Therefore, the petition was adjourned till June 10, 2021 to enable the respondent file a response. The Oyo State Judicial Panel ordered Mrs Oluwafolake Ogundele to serve a summon on the said officer and a copy of the summon should be served on Mrs Fawole, the Police Officer in Charge Legal.

Picture of the public hearing at the Oyo State Judicial Panel on May 18, 2021

6. Case No. OYJPPB/029

Alhaji Olayiwola Sulu and Anor v Inspector-General of Police and Six Others. The petitioners were present and were represented by Oluwatobi O. Fatoki (Esq.) and Tonade Timothy (Esq.). The sixth and seventh respondents were represented by J. A. Sanusi (Esq.), meanwhile other respondents were absent and were not represented by a legal counsel.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Fatoki said that he would present the two petitioners alongside a witness before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. With that, the first petitioner was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The name of the first petitioner is Alhaji Olayiwola Sulu. He lives in Ibadan. He is a Chief Imam at the Oke-Ado Central Mosque and a teacher in an Arabic school. He has been a Chief Imam for the past 30 years. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated April 28th, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that the incident leading to the petition happened on June 6, 2020. He said that some unknown police officers and thugs broke into his house to arrest him over a land issue. He said that he sustained injury in the process and this led to his hospitalisation.

He said that he wrote the petition because the sixth and seventh respondents instigated the Intelligence Response Team to violate his fundamental rights thereby destroying his properties in the process.

He said that after the incident, the second respondent, CSP Abba Kyari forced him to pay the sum of N1.7 million so that he and his son would not be arrested. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to ensure that justice is served and that is N1.7million naira should be returned to him.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Fatoki therefore tendered the relevant documents and photographs before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

With that, the petitioner was cross examined by the respondents’ counsel and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel.

Thereafter, the second petitioner, Tirimisiyu Sulu was invited to the witness stand and he was sworn on the Quran. He lives in Ibadan. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated 28th of April, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that he was detained illegally from June 6, 2020 till July 3, 2020 by the officers of the Intelligence Response Team without being charged to court with an offence. He said that he was brutalised, detained and tortured by the respondents and this has rendered his left hand incapacitated. He said that he paid the sum of N450,000 to the police before he was released.

He said that he is out of job at the moment as he could no longer drive his truck due to the permanent injury he sustained. He said that he went to the hospital immediately after his release. He told the Oyo State Judicial Panel to duly compensate him and presented his medical documents and receipts for them to rely on in deciding the compensation amount.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Fatoki tendered the relevant documents and receipts before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

The petitioner was therefore cross examined by the respondents’ counsel and the members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The last witness was invited to the witness stand and she was sworn on the Quran.

The name of the last witness is Suliat Tirimisiyu. She lives in Ibadan. She is the wife of the second petitioner. She prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt her written statement on oath dated April 28, 2021 as her evidence.

She said that she pleaded with the officers who arrested her husband but she was instead shoved into gutter and she sustained bodily injuries as a result of this. Her testimony was given to corroborate the evidence of the second petitioner.

Therefore, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Fatoki submitted the photographs showing the injuries sustained by the witness and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

Mr Sanusi, the counsel to the sixth and seventh respondents said that there was no need for him to cross examine the witness and that he would rest his case on the evidence of the witness.

The petition was therefore adjourned sine die.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/060

Comrade Segun Ogundepo v The Nigeria Police, Agugu Division. The petitioner was present and was represented by R. A. Eyinade (Esq.). Meanwhile, Mr M. A. Ojeah appeared on behalf of the respondent.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Eyinade 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 Segun Ogundepo. He lives in Ibadan. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath dated April 28, 2021 and an additional statement on oath dated 17th May, 2021 as his evidence.

The petitioner wrote the petition because he was brutally assaulted by officers of Agugu Police Station. He therefore prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for justice and compensation in the sum of N5 million.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mr Eyinade tendered photographs and other relevant documents before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

The petitioner was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. Mr Ojeah thereafter prayed the panel for an adjournment to enable him open a defence.

In view of this, the petition was adjourned till June 10, 2021 for further hearing.

8. Case No. OYJPPB/091

Mr Alamu Toheeb v Nigeria Police, Eleyele Police Station. The petitioner was present and was represented by O. P. Opadotun (Esq.). Mr M. A. Ojeah maintained appearance on behalf of the respondent.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mrs Opadotun said that she had filed the petition and the petitioner’s written statement on oath before the Oyo State Judicial Panel. She said she would present the petitioner and two other relevant witnesses before the panel.

The petitioner, Mr Alamu Toheeb was thereafter invited to the witness stand and he was sworn on the Quran. He lives in Ibadan. He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt his written statement on oath which was dated May 14, 2021 as his evidence.

He said that the incident happened at about 1pm on the 11th of October, 2017. He said he was shot by police officers. He said that he was on his way from INEC office when two police officers who were seated at a joint around Adamasingba Stadium started shooting. He said that after he heard the gunshot, he made an attempt to run to safety. He said that one of the bullets fired by one Sola, an officer attached to the anti-kidnapping unit of Eleyele Police Station, hit him on the leg.

He said that the people around took him to University College Hospital, Ibadan where he underwent surgery. He said that while he was in the hospital, two officers of the force paid him a visit. He said that the officers told him that the name of the officer that shot him is Sola and he was attached to the anti-kidnapping squad at Eleyele.

He prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel for justice and a compensation in the sum of N3 million.

The petitioner’s counsel, Mrs Opadotun tendered four photographs, eight copies of medical receipts, medical report, hospital card and the appointment card before the Oyo State Judicial Panel and they were marked and admitted as exhibits.

The petitioner was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The second witness, Biodun Busari was invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The witness said that on the day of the incident, he had gone alongside the petitioner to the INEC office for the purpose of correcting an error on the permanent voter’s card. He said that due to the large crowd, they decided to leave and go back to the local government the next day. He said that they were on their way home, when they heard the sound of several gun shots.

He said they had run to safety when he realised that the petitioner had been hit by one of the bullets. He said with this, he screamed for help and the petitioner was thereafter taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

He said the police officers visited the petitioner at the hospital and he had appeared before the Oyo State Judicial Panel to say what he knows about the incident.

With this, the witness was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. The third witness was thereafter invited to the witness stand and was sworn on the Quran.

The name of the witness is Alamu Kareemat. She is the wife of the petitioner. She prayed the Oyo State Judicial Panel to adopt her written statement on oath dated 14th of September, 2021 as her evidence.

The witness was cross examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr Ojeah and members of the Oyo State Judicial Panel. Thereafter, Mr Ojeah prayed for an adjournment to enable him open a defence.

In view of this, the petition was adjourned till June 10, 2021 for further hearing.

Having gone through the proceedings for today, the hearing was brought to a close at about 4:10pm.