OSUN, Nigeria – A petitioner at the Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police brutality has narrated how officers of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad demanded the sum of N1.5m to secure his release from detention in 2016.
Alhaji Adanku Oyinlola, the Baale of Olobedu community of Ota Efun area, Osogbo, who spoke during the sitting of the panel, on Thursday, claimed that he was arrested at his residence, without any notification of his offence.
Adanku explained that he suffered inhumane treatments in the hands of the police officers who moved him from one division to another intra-state, inter-state and inter-region.
He recounted how the police officers who moved him in a white Hummer bus, had hand-cuffed him, veiled his face and extinguished cigarette butts on his head.
He further recounted how he was moved to Abuja (Area 3, Abbattoir) and the division demanded the sum of One Million Five Hundred Naira (N 1,500,000) to process his bail.
He said because he could not afford the demand, he was forced to give a directive for the sale of his sister’s plot of land for the sum of N 700,000 which he used for settlement.
Corroborating Adanku’s story, Busari Quadri Adetunji, one of the witnesses (PW3), said Adanku was initially arrested and taken to Zone 11 in Osogbo.
According to him: “When we got to Zone 11, we met Superintendent Omoyele, who told us that they had an order from Abuja to arrest Alhaji Adanku, although he claimed that his offences had not been ascertained. The other people we spoke with, including CSP Adesokan, said they didn’t know what the case was about.
“After about four days of repeated visits, Superintendent Omoyeley eventually claimed it was a murder case and that we could settle it at the Zonal level with N 600,000, but we were only able to raise N 200,000.
“After receiving the money from us, he said that we should come the following day by 10:00am, so that the matter could be resolved with the team from Abuja. We appeared as agreed some minutes before the specified time, with the Ataoja of Osogbo (who we had volunteered to help us wade into the matter), but we were told that the Abuja team already left with Alhaji Adanku”, Busari stated.
He added that after the petitioner was taken to Abuja, he went to Abuja (in the company of other community representatives), to the Area 3 office (Abbattoir) where he met one Inspector Muyiwa who said the matter could be settled out of court upon the payment of the sum of N 1,500,000.
He continued: “Inspector Muyiwa told us that the requested sum was not the bail but a fee required to process his release. We gave him N 300,000 that day, and he asked us to come back in six days with the balance. After six days, we returned with N 400,000 and it took the plea of one Superintendent Balogun for the money to be received from us.
“We were thereafter given a bail form to fill and asked to reappear with Alhaji Adanku in eight days with the balance of N 800,000. We didn’t return after eight-day, rather, Alhaji went to court to file for unlawful detention and abuse of fundamental human rights.
“The officers didn’t appear before the court. Judgment was eventually given in his favour and he was awarded the sum of N 100,000 (although he made claims for the sum of N 10,000,000)”, Busari added.
Meanwhile, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry has asked Inspector Muyiwa and Superintendent Omoyele to appear before the Panel on the next adjourned date, being Thursday 18th February 2021.
The Petitioner, Adanku, has also expressed his confidence in the activities of the Panel, stating that although the verdict of the court was yet to be enforced till the time of his appearance before the panel, the processes of the Panel gives him confidence that the matter will receive the deserved attention.