A Community Chief at Olobedu, Ota Efun area in Osogbo, Osun State, Adanku Oyinlola revealed before the State Panel of Inquiry against police brutality and extra-judicial killing how operatives of disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were extinguishing Indian hemp ‘blunt’ on his head when he was illegally arrested.
Giving evidence before the panel on Thursday, he explained that he was arrested illegally by one Police Superitendent Omoyele attached to Assistant Inspector General Zone XI office, Osogbo on June 23, 2016, in his house around 5:45 AM at Olobedu Community, Osogbo without disclosing his offence.
He added that the officers took him to AIG Zone XI, Osogbo without food to break his fast before moving him to the police cell at Ataoja Divisional headquarters in Osogbo.
Oyinlola added that he was later detained at the Abuja SARS office for days before his relatives raised the N700,000 used to prosecute his release.
“When I was arrested, I requested the police to provide the petition or reasons why I was arrested but none was provided. One Sergeant Lamidi Rasaq took my statement. The officer that arrested me demanded N200,000 for bail and requested that I provide one civil servant as my surety.
“My friend, Taiwo Adebisi, who was a civil servant came to the police station for my bail but they refused him on the ground that I did not provide the money they requested for. I was detained for two days at Zone XI, before I was transferred to Ataoja Police Station, Osogbo where I spent another two days. Later, I was transferred to Gbagi police cell in Ibadan, Oyo State, where I spent three days. I did not eat any food for seven days until my third day in Ibadan when my family and lawyer came around.
“I was later taken to Abuja inside a hummer bus with my face covered with a veil. I was handcuffed behind my back and the SARS officers inside the bus were smoking Indian hemp and extinguishing its lunt on my head till we got to their station.
“The Investigating Police Officer, Inspector Muyiwa at the Abuja station collected my phone. My family paid N700,000 to officer Omoyele and Muyiwa. In fact, my wife sent recharge cards to other officers in Abuja before I was eventually released. The N700,000 was raised from the proceed of a landed property disposed by his family”
He also noted that while he was released from the police custody in Abuja without any charges, he filed a suit against the Police before an Osun State High Court, where the judge awarded the sum N100,000 as compensation against the police.
He said the judge also ordered that his other properties (car and mobile phone) should be released to him by the police and should make a public apology in a national newspaper. However, Oyinlola said his car and phone were released to him but the police never paid him the compensation awarded him by the court nor apologise in national newspaper.
He sought the relief of the panel to compel the police to pay the compensation awarded in his favour as well as placed apology in national daily as ordered by the court.
In his remark, the panel Chairman, Justice Akin Oladimeji urged the petitioner to provide the document of the land sales with which the N700,000 was raised before the panel on the next adjourned date.
The matter was then adjourned to January 14, 2021 for hearing.
Vanguard News Nigeria