Police are problem of Nigeria — panel chair
Shina Abubakar – Osogbo
A petitioner before the Osun State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Extra-Judicial Killings, Elder Joseph Oluyide said he was at the panel to get justice for his brother gruesomely murdered by police in 1993.
This is as the panel Chairman, Justice Akin Oladimeji said police misconduct is the snag in the wheel of the country’s progress.
At the panel’s resumed proceeding after the yuletide holiday on Friday, he said his brother, Elijah Adeyemo, who was a lawyer was killed by a police officer along Lagere in Ile-Ife in 1993.
“I am here to seek justice for the killing of my brother, one Barrister Elijah Adeyemi, who was gruesomely murdered by a police officer along Lagere in Ile-Ife in 1993.
“Since then, we had requested the then Governor to set up panel of inquiry to investigate the misconduct, but it is unfortunate that nothing was done. But now that the panel of inquiry has been set up, we feel that it is time to take the matter up. That is why we have come here.
“As a matter of fact, I am satisfied with the proceedings so far because both the petitioners and the respondents were given a fair hearing, and with this, we are confident of justice”, Oluyide added.
Meanwhile, Justice Oladimeji berated the attitude and misconduct of some officers and men of Nigeria Police Force, saying evidence gathered so far shows that some policemen are the cog in the wheel of the country’s progress.
The Panel reiterated its commitment to ensuring fair hearing and justice in all the petitions received within the time frame of stipulated six months.
Oladimeji said it was unfortunate that most of the cases received were premised on the non-execution and non-implementation of court verdicts against police.
He said: “A lot of things have been exposed about the conduct and activity of the Nigeria Police.
“From the evidence we have gathered so far, it appears that it is some of the Police officers and men that are the cog in the wheel of progress of this country; that is my belief.
“We have been receiving petitions and we have about 30 cases. Though we have resolved some of the cases, there won’t be any report until we conclude all the proceedings.
“Generally, there has never been any delay except for a few cases. As you know, either the lawyer or petitioner can cause some delay because sometimes, they write letters for adjournments.
“We are used to that anyway, and we know how to handle such cases. The six months period will be sufficient. We have been in this business for years and we know how to manage lawyers.
“If it requires us to work extra time, we will do so. We will not hesitate to conclude the hearings within the stipulated period because we don’t want any extension of time”, Oladimeji added.
The five petitions heard on Friday by the Panel are OS/JPIPB/008/2020 Adegboyega Agbaje & IOR versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; OS/JPIPB/003/2020 Oluyide Joseph Adekola versus Osun State Commissioner of Police OS/JPIPB/004/2020 Azeez Oderinde versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; OS/JPIPB/22/2020 Wasiu Jimoh versus Osun State Commissioner of Police; and OS/JPIPB/23/2020 Taiwo Segun & IOR versus Osun State Commissioner of Police.