Police brutality: Ogun judicial panel begins sittings

Police brutality: Ogun judicial panel begins sittings

Friday, November 6, 2020 5:35 pm


Adejoke Adeleye/Abeokuta

Petitioners have started recounting their ordeals in the hands of members of the recently disbanded police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS. They took their turns today at the Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation set up to look into compliants of victims of police brutality.

The hearing which started on Thursday at Court 1 Idaho Abeokuta was Chaired by Justice  Solomon Olugbemi. The panel confirmed the receipt of 40 complaints from members of the public.

A petitioner, Mr. Musbau Semiu  Ademola narrated how he was stopped by the disbanded SARS operatives on May 13, 2020 while coming from Obasanjo hatchery. He recalled that he had gone to the farm to buy 650 day old chickens and turkeys when the operatives accosted and delayed him for over two hours before he was released after an intervention by one senior officer.

Ademola made this known during his appearance at the Panel set up to investigate complaints of victims of police brutality, human rights violations and extra judicial killings. He claimed the delay led to the death of 335 birds costing N448,500 which has made him to be living from hand to mouth ever since then.

After the respondent, Inspector Fatai Rabiu had given evidence and answered questions from the Panel, the matter was adjourned till 11th November 2020 for further hearing.

Another petitioner, Mr. Tunji Adeoso, from Abeokuta said his brother in-law, Sunday Olorunnisola was arrested and detained by a SARS officer, Corporal Omosolape Ahmed popularly known as Oosa at their Magbon station in Abeokuta. He revealed that while trying to plead for his release, he got a serious slap from corporal Ahmed who later collected a sum of N150,000 from the family before releasing the detained boy.

The Panel Chairman, Hon. Justice Solomon Olugbemi (rtd) said the petitioner and the respondent would be invited when the panel finishes its investigation and evaluation on the matter.

Addressing journalists after the sitting, Olugbemi who revealed that the Panel had already received 40 petitions called on those who still have petitions to submit them without further delay. He assured petitioners of their safety noting that nobody would harass them.

The Chairman assured that the investigation process cannot dampen the morale of security operatives because it would ensure justice for all adding that the panel sitting days are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Gbolahan Adeniran noted that justice is crucial to the wellbeing of any human society. He said Governor Dapo Abiodun is interested in the activities of the Panel while assuring that government would ensure justice for all.

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