Tenth Public Sitting of the 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 16, 2021.

Today’s sitting commenced at about 9:13am, shortly after the arrival of the panelists.

Cases

1. Case No. OYJPPB/011

Ife Olamiju (Esq.) v Nigeria Police Force. The petitioner was present at the hearing. The petitioner was represented by I. A. Etta. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. I. A. Etta, the legal counsel to the petitioner told the panel that he had intended to make a correction to the petition as Ife Olamiju was the counsel who signed the petition on behalf of the petitioner but was mistaken as the petitioner. He therefore stated that the petitioner in this case was Police Contributory Pension Scheme, Oyo State Chapter. The petitioner was represented by Rtd ACP Victoria Olufunke Ladigbolu, Rtd CSP Benjamin Ishado Akande, Rtd ASP Akoh Amfa Simeon and Inspector Isiaka Ajadi Sadiq. The petition was written by the petitioner to call for the reform of the Police Force. The petitioner stated in the petition that the issue of police brutality and discrimination within the Nigeria Police Force can be traced to the issue of incompetence and corruption which can be traced to the recruitment process which is flouted with so many irregularities that leads to the recruitment of bad eggs into the Force. The petitioner therefore wrote the petition to recommend the following:

  • The funding of the Nigeria Police Force should be increased, the salary and condition of service of the Force should be at parity with that of the Military, DSS and other Intelligence Agencies.
  • Equipment and facilities used by the force should be frequently maintained and moribund and obsolete ones should be replaced with new ones.
  • The issue of brutality and discrimination within the force should be checkmated by promoting all officers as and when due with immediate pay in accordance with the service records.
  • The recruitment exercise of new recruits should be carried out through a transparent process so that only the best will be enlisted.
  • The Nigeria Police Force, just like its contemporaries in the Military, DSS and other Intelligence Agencies, should be allowed to exit from the Contributory Pension Scheme or the government be ready to face protracted civil demonstration nationwide.
  • There should be consistent training and retraining of serving officers of NPF within and outside the country to meet with international standard and practices.
  • There should be an annual recruitment of at least 80,000 personnel into the NPF to solve the problem of inadequate man power within the force.
  • The number of Mobile Force Personnel attached to VIPs should be reduced because that is the primary function of the DSS. They should be redeployed to fighting crimes in the streets.
  • A public-private partnership with the Force should be allowed to enhance a rigorous resuscitation of the department and units such as the Nigeria Police Force Printing Press in Ikeja Lagos, the Nigeria Police Force Animals Department which can breed, train and sell animals such as dogs to individuals and companies within and outside the country, the Nigeria Police Force Supernumerary all of which are within the force in order to enhance funding.

One of the panelists, Ms Olamide Akintayo, a representative of National Human Rights Commission, Oyo State Office, advised that a copy of the recommendation letter be forwarded to the Human Right Commission’s Head Office located at 19, Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama in Abuja; so that the recommendation letter would be forwarded to the Federal Government. CSP Fawole also reacted to the petition which was written to call for police reform. She appreciated the petitioner for taking out time to highlight the problems bedeviling the police force and taking a step further to recommend solutions to the problems. She therefore lent her voice as a part of the Nigeria Police Force and the Officer in Charge Legal, Oyo State Command, by emphasising that the whole country should come to the rescue of the Nigeria Police and that the police need training, capacity building and equipment to function properly.

With this, the petition was brought to a close.

2. Case No. OYJPPB/012

Muhammad Sadisu v Commissioner of Police, Ogun State. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal representative at the hearing. According to the petitioner, his legal representative, Muhammad Babagana (Esq.), was absent at the hearing because his mother was indisposed. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew declined appearances on behalf of the respondent because the petition has to do with the police in Ogun State.

Therefore, the petition was adjourned till February 25, 2021 for mention so as to allow the petitioner to communicate the date to his counsel.

3. Case No. OYJPPB/013

Bello Olusegun Kayode v Nigeria Police, Sango Police Station. The petitioner was present but opted to represent himself at the hearing. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole, the Officer in Charge Legal, told the panel that she had been served but was yet to file a response to the petition.

Subject to the convenience of the panel, the petition was adjourned till March 4, 2021 for definite hearing so as to enable the respondent to file the necessary response to the petition.

4. Case No. OYJPPB/014

Suleiman Kehinde v The Area Commander, Nigeria Police Ogbomoso. The petitioner was absent and was not represented at the hearing. This petition came up for the first time on January 27, 2021 and the petitioner was represented by L. L. Akanbi (Esq.) but today neither the petitioner nor the legal representative was present. Due to the absence, the panel decided to give the petitioner one more chance before striking out the petition. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole, the Officer in Charge Legal, told the panel that she had been served but was yet to file a response to the petition.

The petition was therefore adjourned till March 2, 2021 for hearing or striking out and also to issue and serve fresh hearing notices on the petitioner’s legal representative, L. L. Akanbi (Esq.).

5. Case No. OYJPPB/015

Kamaldeen Hassan v The Area Commander, Nigeria Police Ogbomoso. The petitioner was absent and was not represented by a legal counsel at the hearing. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole told the panel that she had been served but was yet to file the response to the petition.

With this, the petition was adjourned till March 2, 2021 to enable the petitioner and his counsel to be present at the hearing in order to fix the petition for hearing. Also, a fresh hearing notice would be issued and served on the petitioner’s counsel, L. L. Akanbi (Esq.).

6. Case No. OYJPPB/016

Hon. Ojo Samson Bamidele v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was present but was not represented by a legal representative at the hearing. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew maintained appearances on behalf of the respondent. However, CSP Fawole told the panel that she has decided to withdraw herself from the petition because the petition involves the police in Lagos State. This was declined by Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniyi who stated that the Lagos State element in the petition was not enough reason for CSP Fawole’s decision to withdraw.

The petitioner, Hon Ojo Samson Bamidele, who represented Ibadan South East Local Government Constituency at the Oyo State House of Assembly during 2011-2015 legislative year was robbed, shot and thrown into the bush by armed robbers on his way from church on November 4, 2012. He stated that his Toyota Salon Car which was allocated to him in 2012 was also stolen in the process. He stated that he was rushed to the University College Hospital, Ibadan and his case was reported at the Iyana Offa Police Station. Some police officers from Iyana Offa police station visited him on his sick bed and after he regained consciousness, he narrated what he experienced and his statement was taken.

According to him, on December 2, 2012 he received a call from an officer of SARS Dugbe, Ibadan who informed him that some arrests were made in respect to the robbery incident and the suspect provided useful information in the process. He was therefore advised to visit them in their office. The same officer gave his name as Sergeant Waheed aka Oloye with phone number (redacted).

The informed the panel that the car number plate as at the time of theft was OYHA23 and it was registered under his name with registration number KJA19KJ. He was hospitalised for some months and was able to visit SARS Dugbe, Oyo State sometime in January 2013 where he made his statement in the office of Sergeant Waheed and one Mr T. J. Tijani with the knowledge of Officer in Charge SARS, Dugbe after which the police swung into action. With the effort of the police, the car was traced to Abuja and he was later informed by SARS Dugbe, that his car had been recovered but was told to visit Adeniji Adele Police Station, SARS Unit, Lagos State to meet with DSP Niyi with phone no (redacted) after which he was told to write a statement and he wrote a statement.

On getting to the Lagos Police Station, he was directed to CSP Muhammed who was in charge of exhibits. He reached out to CSP Mohammed who promised to reach out to DSP Niyi who would see to the release of the car. According to the petitioner, ever since then, he has checked back several times but the car was yet to be released. He therefore prayed the panel to help in facilitating the release of his Toyota Salon Car which was snatched on 4th of November 2012.

Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji promised that the panel would get to the root of the matter and that justice would be served no matter whose ox is gored. The petition was therefore adjourned till March 2, 2021 for mention. Sergeant Waheed aka Oloye, Mr Tijani and DSP Niyi would also be invited to meet with the panel in camera. The Officer in Charge Legal, CSP Funke Fawole was also told to be in attendance in the meeting which would take place before the next hearing.

7. Case No. OYJPPB/017

The Family of Late Abass Lawal Adekoya v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The family was represented by Halimat Lawal but was not represented by a legal counsel at the hearing. Meanwhile, CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J.  Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole, the Officer in Charge Legal, told the panel that she had prepared her response to the petition and would file the response before the close of work today. Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji expressed her disappointment at the absence of the petitioner’s legal counsel, Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.), at the hearing without apologies because the petition appeared for the first time on January 27, 2021 and the petitioner’s legal counsel prayed the panel to adjourn the petition till today, February 16, 2021.

With this, the petition was adjourned till March 2, 2021 for mention.

8. Case No. OYJPPB/018

The Family of Late Mrs Sakirat Olaegbe v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The family was represented by Awannat Olaegbe but was not represented by a legal counsel. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole agreed that she had been served with the processes of the petition but was yet to file the response as expected.

The petition was therefore adjourned till March 2, 2021 to enable the respondent file the necessary response and to also allow the petitioner’s counsel appear before the panel.

9. Case No. OYJPPB/019

Mr Sesan Opadotun’s Family v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was present and represented by Mosebolatan Oyedeji (Esq.) while CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole said that she had been served but was yet to respond to the petition.

The petitioner who lives at (redacted) Ibadan, Oyo State was a bricklayer who engages in bricklaying and building construction. Sometime around 2012, he was awarded a contract to construct a fence round an event center. At the completion of the job, the director of the company was impressed and therefore employed him to supervise the fitting of a machine in the company.

However, upon suspicion of fraud in the offloading department, the director of the company transferred him to monitor the offloading department. On the March 22, 2018, an officer with the Mobile Police Unit named Lukman Adenigba called him and one Ade that they should conspire and inflate the number of planks to be offloaded. His failure to cooperate with them and instead, disclose the number of goods supplied to the director caused bad blood between them.

Thereafter, the director accused other workers at the offloading unit. With this, he was confronted by the police officer, Lukman Adenigba, who slapped him and promised to kill him for disclosing the accurate number of planks supplied. Adenigba, the police officer, fired a shot at his thigh twice and a medical officer has confirmed that the bullet wound has rendered him permanently disabled and impotent. He therefore prayed the panel to bring Sergeant Lukman Adedigba to book to be held responsible by compensating and providing alternative artificial surgery to regain his health. The surgery is proposed to be carried out in the United State of America which as at September 2019 would cost about 50,000 US Dollars.

The petition was adjourned till March 2, 2021 for mention to avail the respondent the opportunity to make necessary consultations so as to determine the way forward.

10. Case No. OYJPPB/060

Comrade Segun Ogundepo v The Nigeria Police, Agugu Division. The petitioner was present and was represented by I. A. Etta (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew maintained appearances on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole, the Officer in Charge Legal, said that she had been served with the processes of the petition and the response would be filed before the close of work, today.

With the approval of both parties, the petition was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for mention.

11. Case No. OYJPPB/077

Mrs Sumbo Salami v The Nigeria Police, Adelubi Station. The petitioner was absent at the sitting but was represented by Deborah Oluyemisi Collins, the Chairperson of International Federation of Women Lawyers, Oyo State and Afolakemi Adeoba. The legal counsel to the petitioner told the panel that her client was absent because she was sick. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew appeared on behalf of the respondent. CSP Fawole, the Officer in Charge Legal, informed the panel that she had been served with the processes but was yet to respond as expected.

Subject to the convenience of the panel, the petition was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for definite hearing.

12. Case No. OYJPPB/078

The Family of Abdul Qudus Agbolade v The Nigeria Police, Ojoo Division. The family was represented by Serifat Agbolade and Ahmed Agbolade while Deborah Oluyemisi Collins, the Chairperson of International Federation of Women Lawyers, Oyo State and Afolakemi Adeoba maintained appearances as the petitioner’s legal representatives. CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew represented the respondent at the hearing. CSP Fawole, the Officer in Charge Legal, told the panel that she was yet to be served with the processes of the petition and with this; she was immediately served with the processes by Mrs Oluwafolake, the legal counsel to the panel.

With the approval of both parties, the petition was adjourned till March 3, 2021 for mention to enable the respondent file a response to the petition.

Petition for Hearing

13. Case No. OYJPPB/020

Mr Akinlabi Moruf v Commissioner of Police, Oyo State. The petitioner was present but was not represented by his legal counsel, Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.). CSP Funke Fawole and Mr O. J. Matthew represented the respondent at the hearing. CSP Fawole said she had been served with the processes but was yet to file a response. The panel therefore advised the petitioner to obtain the services of a pro bono lawyer because Olumide Ojedokun (Esq.) had not been diligently prosecuting the petition.

The petition was therefore adjourned till March 2, 2021 for mention to enable the petitioner obtain the services of a pro bono counsel so as to diligently prosecute the petition.

Having gone through the proceedings, Hon Justice Badejoko Adeniji brought the hearing to a close at about 12:39pm.

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