…I was gruesomely persecuted, spent over N1m for no just cause in police custody – Petitioner
Petitioners at the ongoing sitting of the Osun State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings have appealed to the members of the panel to compel the Nigeria Police to implement some of the judgements already delivered by the competent courts of law against officers and men of the Force.
The petitioners who claimed to have received judgements against the conduct of the officers and men of the Nigeria Police also prayed the panel to consider their petitions which were largely on the non-implementation of court verdicts over time.
This is even as a petitioner, Chief Adahku Oyinlola, recalled his ordeals at the hands of the police saying he was illegally arrested and gruesomely persecuted by police officers.
He said he spent over N1,000,000 in the process.
It will be recalled that the panel had at its last sitting disclosed that over 70 percent of the petitions before it premised on gross disobedience to court rulings against the police.
At the sitting on Thursday, the panel gave an order summoning the former Osun State Commissioner of Police, John Omoronike; former Area Commander, Ilesa, Joshua Atunnise; a Superintendent of Police, Omoyele and one Inspector Muyiwa to appear before the panel on Thursday, 18th February, 2020.
Addressing journalists after the hearing of his petition, Chief Adahku Oyinlola urged the panel to prevail on the police to implement the court verdict he received on his petition.
Oyinlola who narrated how he was arrested in his residence on 23rd of June, 2016 by police, said he was taken to Zone 11 in Osogbo where he was transferred to Ataoja Police Division, Osogbo, and later to Gbaagi Police Division; Apata Police Division in Ibadan and one Police Division in Abuja.
The Petitioner further explained: “On this fateful day, I was in my house sleeping after taking my breakfast. It was during the fasting period, and all I saw were officers of the Nigeria Police who barged into my house to arrest me for no reason.
“I was forcefully taken out of the house to AIG office — Zone 11 here in Osogbo. I was transferred to Ataoja Police Division also in Osogbo before I was finally taken to Gbaagi Police Division and Apata Police Division both in Ibadan, Oyo State.
“Upon this, I was later moved to Abuja, where I spent several days before my release. I was in the police custody for close to one month before I was released on 18th July, 2016.
“The police demanded for N1.5m to secure my release, but we were able to raise N900,000 which we paid in three tranches – N200,000; N300,000 and N400,000 respectively. I also made other expenses. The most painful out of it was that, my family had to sell my landed property before they could raise the funds to secure my release.
“Though I have gone to court to challenge the unlawful arrest and persecution, I have received judgement on this matter at the State High Court, Osogbo, where the court ordered the police to compensate me with a sum of 100,000 and publication of an apology in three different national dailies.
“I was not too satisfied with the verdict because I spent more than the money awarded to me. I spent over one million naira on the matter that I know nothing about, aside the mental and emotional stress I underwent.
“It is for this reason that I felt that it was necessary to approach the Panel of Inquiry when I heard that it had been constituted by the State government. I have come to challenge the verdict received and I want the panel to assist me to ensure full implementation of the judgement by giving a recommendation of what I spent on the matter among other issues raised in my petition.
“I want the panel to help me in this matter. I want them to prevail on the police to honour the court judgement and compensate me impressively.”
Another petitioner, Mr Wasiu Jimoh, prayed the panel to prevail on the police to implement the court judgement he received from Federal High Court against the police.
Jimoh who is a commercial mini bus driver, explained that his fundamental human rights had been violated as he was unjustly arrested by police officers at Owode-Ede in January 2020.
He said he was taken to the State Police Command, Osogbo, on a frivolous allegation that he knew nothing about just as he asked the panel to assist him to get the compensation awarded to him by the Court.
According to the Counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Ridwan Arikewuyo, the arrest of Mr. Wasiu Jimoh was a gross violation of the fundamental human rights and as such, he has to be adequately compensated.
Similarly, Mr Taiwo Daniel who petitioned the police for the killing of his son in 2008, appealed to the panel to influence the Court verdict that awarded him a sum of N30million as compensation.
According to him, the deceased, Babatunde Daniel, was allegedly killed by one Joshua Atunnise, a police officer in the said year.
The petitioner added that he took the case to Osun State High Court, Ilesa, where he was awarded a sum of N30million as compensation, lamenting that it was unfortunate that the compensation had not been honoured by the police since then, a development that compelled him to approach the panel.
Speaking after the proceedings, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akinola Oladimeji (rtd.), said the panel would do everything possible to ensure justice for all.
Oladimeji who had earlier given an order summoning four officers to give evidence in some of the cases before the panel, said, “If the officers that we summoned refuse to come, then we will give further order within the ambit of the law.”
The cases heard by the Court on Thursday were: OS/JPIPB/009/2020 Alhaji Adahku Oyinlola versus Osun State Commissioner of Police;
OS/JPIPB/10/2020 Khadijah Adebisi versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; OS/JPIPB/16/2020 Taiwo Daniel versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; OS/JPIPB/22/2020 Wasiu Jimoh versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; OS/JPIPB/24/2020 Ijaye Ishola versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; and OS/JPIPB/29/2020 Mrs. Halimat Adetola Abdu-Azeez versus Osun State Commissioner of Police.