Police frustrating efforts ― Oyo Judicial panel, petitioners

The Oyo State Judicial Panel of inquiry set up to look into cases of police brutalities by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the police against Nigerians on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the lack of full cooperation from the police and acts which they said is frustrating the efforts of the panel.

The panel made its displeasure known when it couldn’t hear three petitions scheduled for a definite hearing due to the absence of the Officer in Charge of Legal Matters in Oyo Police Command, Mrs Funke Fawole.

Though she sent a legal officer in the command, Mrs Bolanle Olorukooba, to represent her, the petitions suffered could not be heard as she informed the panel that she was not given an order to go on with the hearing.

Mrs Olorukooba who had earlier announced her appearance for the police in other petitions slated for mention refused to continue with the ones scheduled for hearing as she told the panel that the case files of the three petitions were not given to her.

Counsel to the petitioners whose matter was slated for hearing expressed frustration over the attitude of the police as some of them were coming from outside Ibadan.

Reacting to the development, members of the panel frowned at the report from the Police which they described as delay tactics to discourage the petitioners.

A member of the panel, Babatunde Oduyoye, expressed his annoyance at the development and ordered counsel to the Nigeria Police and the commandant of the Southwest Network Security outfit in Oyo State (Amotekun) to appear before the panel on the next adjourned date.

Also expressing the dissatisfaction of the panel, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Professor Wole Akinlayo, said the panel would henceforth not wait for any party, adding that with or without the police, the panel would not adjourn any petition.

The chairman of the panel, Emeritus Chief Judge of Oyo, Justice Badejoko Adeniji sympathized with the petitioners and appealed to them to be patient as the panel would ensure that everybody gets justice at the end of its assignment.

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