The Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry convened by Governor Seyi Makinde to investigate police brutality in the state, on Tuesday lamented the absence of Police at its inaugural sitting saying that the integrity of the panel must not be undermined.
Justice Badejoko Adeniji, the judicial panel Chairman, while addressing the sitting, expressed confidence that the state police command would not hesitate to cooperate with the panel in ensuring that the objective of the state government in setting it up was not defeated.
In all, 10 petitioners were called at the Tuesday sitting of the judicial panel, held at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan.
Five of the cases for hearing were against ‘unknown hoodlums’ while the other five cases were against the Nigerian Police.
To stand before the judicial panel, among other stations, are the Police Area Command, Owode, Ogbomosho; Bodija Police Station, Iyana Offa Police Station, Ogbomosho Area Command; and the IGP Intelligence Response Team, Abuja.
Petitions involving the police had no representation as some of the affected police stations reportedly refused to be served.
Also, some of the petitioners were not present to prosecute their petitions while the respondents of those who were present were unavailable at the sitting.
According to the panel, the police at Iyana Offa refused to be served in a petition filed by one Olayiwola Oyedokun just as in the case of a Lance Corporal, Aderijo Samuel against Nigeria Police.
The chairman of the judicial panel frowned against the attitude of the police and ordered fresh services on the defaulting police stations.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Badejoko warned both the petitioners and respondents against attempts to arm twist members of the panel in any form just as he advised the media to abstain from misrepresentation of the proceedings.
The chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan branch, Mr Yinka Esan, who lauded Governor Seyi Makinde on the initiative, expressed confidence on the integrity of the panel.
He said, “If the time given for the completion of the exercise is considered as too short, apply for an extension of time instead of crowding up the space in violation of social distancing rule.”
Also on the panel are former Chairman of the NBA, Ibadan Branch, Prof. Oluwole Akintayo, among others.