Endsars: Osun Panel of Inquiry Orders Immediate Release Of Corpse Confiscated By Police Since 2017

Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola

…We want N50m compensation, says family

Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings on Friday ordered immediate and unconditional release of the corpse of one Mr. Akeem Olalekan Ibitoye who was gruesomely murdered on the 25th of April, 2017 in Erin-Osun, Irepodun Local Government Area of the State.

The panel gave the order after granting the application filed by the petitioners’ Counsel, Barrister Kehinde Adesiyan.

Recall that the petition filed by Mrs. Kafayat Ibitoye (wife of the deceased) and Mr. Teslim Ibitoye (elder brother of the deceased) was adjourned last week after the panel granted the application filed by the petitioners’ counsel to amend the application requesting the release of the corpse of the deceased.

While being led in evidence, an elder brother to the deceased, Mr. Teslim Ibitoye, told the panel how gunshots were fired at him and the deceased when they paid a visit to their cousin on that fateful day.

He said his brother died immediately and he (Teslim Ibitoye) had a live bullet inside his spinal cord and  he had been carrying the bullet around since the incident occurred.

Ibitoye who spoke in pains said the incident had caused serious setbacks to the family as the wife and children of the deceased had been exposed to suffering while he had spent all he had, including property, to treat himself.

He said the incident has registered everlasting trauma in their lives.

The petitioner urged the panel to prevail on the Police and other appropriate authorities to come to the aid of the family, particularly himself who needs medical treatment abroad to remove the live bullet from his spinal cord.

He also requested the panel to grant the application requesting the immediate release of his brother’s corpse just as he also demanded the payment of N50million as compensation to the family.

Also, the wife of the deceased, Kafayat, who is also a petitioner in the case, said the incident had rendered her a window, urging the panel to grant all the requests made by the family to cushion the effects of the ugly incident.

The deceased, who brought her three little kids to the panel, said it was unfortunate that her children didn’t have a father anymore as the life of the deceased was cut short by the policeman who killed him for no just cause.

While moving an application before the panel for an amendment to order the Management of the State General Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo, to unconditionally release the corpse to the family to ensure appropriate burial, counsel to the petitioners, Barrister Kehinde Adesiyan, said the application was necessary in view of the psychological and mental trauma that the family has been going through since the ugly occurrence.

He said the wife and the children of the deceased had been seriously tormented as a result of the incident, hence the need for them to take custody of the corpse and bury him.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akin Oladimeji (rtd.), ordered the Management of the State General Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo, and other concerned authorities to release the corpse with immediate effect to the family for proper burial.

Justice Oladimeji therefore adjourned the case to 19th April, 2021 for further hearing.

In another petition filed by Mr. Kehinde Ajibola seeking the panel’s recommendation to investigate the alleged killers of one Master Azeez Ajibola who was allegedly chased to death by some security personnel, the panel relied on and adopted the report of the State government investigating the identity of the security personnel involved in the killing.

Recall that the panel had, during the last sitting, ordered two officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Babatunde Toogun and Mr. Awoniyi Jimmy, who were alleged to have been involved in the Killing to appear before it.

The order of the panel came after the Counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola, moved an application for the panel to issue subpoena to the alleged officers to appear before the panel.

Appearing before the panel, the two officers through their counsel, Barrister Soji Oyetayo, informed the panel that the alleged officers were not involved in the said  incident and neither were they in the security vehicle that allegedly chased the deceased to death.

He therefore tendered a letter from the Office of the Governor to support his claim wherein some police officers, DSS operatives, NSCDC officers and NAF personel in the  alleged JTF vehicle were ordered to be investigated.

Ruling in the case, the panel ordered the summoned officers to depose to an affidavit vindicating them of the allegation leveled against them and attach the letter from the Office of the Governor.

The panel therefore adjourned the case to April 18th, 2021.


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