…It is unfortunate police, hospital management underestimate our powers, says Panel’s Chair
…as panel re-orders State Police Command to release the corpse before next Monday.
By Richard Ayinde, Osogbo.
The family of slain Akeem Olalekan Ibitoye who was allegedly murdered on April 25th, 2017 by some police officers have berated the Osun Police Command and the management of the State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, for their refusal to release Akeem’s corpse.
The family registered their grievances on Friday while fielding questions from journalists at the resumed hearing of the case by the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings sitting in Osogbo, the State capital.
The Panel had at its sitting last week Friday ordered the immediate release of the corpse of the slain man by the concerned authorities.
At the resumption of the case on Friday, the counsel to the petitioners, Barrister Kehinde Adesiyan, informed the Panel that the corpse had not been released.
He explained the stress undergone by the family of the deceased to secure the corpse, saying all efforts to take custody of the body had been frustrated by the hospital management.
According to him, the hospital authorities refused to release the corpse on the pretense that there was no written statement to that effect from the Police who deposited the corpse.
Reacting to the matter, Mr. Teslim Ibitoye, an elder brother to the deceased, said the action of the Police not to ensure the immediate release of the corpse as directed by the panel was a gross defiance to constituted authorities.
The petitioner who claimed to have suffered serious injuries from the incident, stated that he still lives with the gun pellets stucked in his body since 2017.
He lamented the rigour and suffering that the family had gone through at the hands of the Police since the incident occurred.
Ibitoye who narrated how he and his late younger brother were gruesomely brutalised on the fateful day by the police who shot at them where they were, said, “If not by God, I would have been dead just as my brother died immediately gunshots were fired at us.”
He appealed to the panel to grant all their prayers as presented in the petition, saying the release of the corpse of his brother remained first priority.
Ibitoye stated further that the family had approached the Panel to seek payment of N50million as compensation and prevail on the Police and other concerned authorities to take care of his medical treatment abroad which requires him to undergo surgical operation to remove the gun pellets out of his body.
Ruling on the case, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akin Oladimeji (rtd.), directed the Police authorities to follow the petitioners and their counsel to the hospital to secure the release of the corpse to the family.
He thereafter adjourned the case to Friday, March 26th, 2021 for adoption of the final written addresses of both counsels.
Buttressing the position of the Panel on the case during an interview session with journalists, Justice Oladimeji said it was unfortunate that the concerned authorities undermined the powers of the Panel.
“It is rather unfortunate that the Panel of Inquiry will give an order for the release of a corpse by a hospital authority and they refused it. They must have done that out of error, out of lack of understanding of the powers of the Panel.
“We have however directed the Police to follow the petitioners and their counsel to go to the hospital and get the corpse released to the family. It is unfortunate that the corpse has been there since 2017,” Oladimeji added.
Meanwhile, the Panel also heard the petition filed by one Mr. Adeola Paul Sunday, which was adjourned last week for further hearing today.
Mr Sunday had through his petition claimed to have been defrauded of N36million by a syndicate members who he engaged to supply him electrical installations worth N36million.
The Counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Kayode Adebisi, alleged the Police of connivance to defraud his client.
He said the Police connived with the syndicate fraudsters to compromise the investigation which would have helped the petitioner to retrieve his money.
A witness to the respondent, Inspector Alayande Muritala, while being cross- examined to give credence to the case, refuted all the allegations leveled against him and his colleagues.
The case was adjourned to next week for further hearing.
The Panel also adopted the final written addresses in the cases filed by Alhaji Ayo Dauda Adigun &1OR versus Osun Commissioner of Police; Azeez Oderinde versus Osun Commissioner of Police; and Olaide Olaosebikan 1OR versus Osun Commissioner of Police.