Group wants Makinde, IGP, CJ to look into cases of police, Obas oppression in Ogbomoso

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Group wants Makinde, IGP, CJ to look into cases of police, Obas oppression in Ogbomoso

Oluwole AREO

A human rights group, Safe the Poor and Needy Charity Initiative (SPANCI) has cried out to the Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Inspector General of Police, the Oyo state Commissioner for Justice, Justice Abimbola Muntai; the Oyo state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo and others to forthwith order investigations into cases of what it called police oppression, malicious prosecution and perversion of justice in Ogbomoso zone of Oyo state.

The group in a protest Saturday afternoon at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) – Ajilete FM, Gambari, Ogbomoso, witnessed by listed a litany of abuses, gross oppressions and perversion allegedly being perpetrated in Ogbomoso, particularly mentioning one Inspector Ode Adekunle as a major culprit.

Speaking at the protest, Comrade Bello Yemi Ezekiel JP, president of SPANCI, lamented the many cases stressing “police oppression, malicious prosecution and miscarriage of justice are prevalent, there is therefore urgent need for investigations by appropriate authorities to verify the allegations, review cases in courts and of some of those in detention.

“Ogbomoso is under the yoke of police oppression and this should not continue. We also have some judges who work in cahoots with these unscrupulous police elements. This is not to say there are no good policemen there are many as well as judges who are professional in their conduct but the few bad eggs are the problems.”

Comrade Ezekiel who disclosed while later speaking with that his nasty experience with the police in the past drove him into the advocacy, added, “We have written a lot of petitions against these injustices and against policemen who believe they can use police and government powers to deal with innocent citizens and send them to jail.

“However, many of our petitions have gone unheeded. The police then turn around to persecute the petitioners. Many people are in Abolongo and other correctional centres detained unjustly and serving terms with some even dying in prison.”

He also alleged some traditional rulers of oppressive acts saying “Some Obas and Baales, who the moment they are installed begin to forcefully take over other peoples’ lands and say Oba ba le ori ohun gbogbo or moti je baale lori ibi naa.

“I have seen there is a conspiracy between some Obas, Baales, influential people and the police. The police side with the powerful without conducting proper investigations to arraign the weak and imprison them.

Members of the group at the protest

“Similarly, contractual dealings majorly civil controversies, in which someone is not even supposed to be arraigned by the police according to section 32 subsection 2 and section 37 subsection 1 of the Police Act 2020 which forbids a law enforcement agent to even make arrest on a civil controversy or contractual dealing, is often flagrantly flouted.

“This is why we are in Ogbomoso so that the cause of justice of the majority who are in prison unjustifiably and a lot of people who are being harassed or tormented or receiving degrading or inhumane treatment by these so-called law enforcement agents can be upheld.

Comrade Ezekiel

“So, we want to seek justice and to let the Oyo state governor, His Excellency Engr. Seyi Makinde know; we want the Inspector General of Police to know; for the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 11, Osogbo, to know; for the Oyo state Commissioner for Police to know; and the Area Commander Owode to know that there are a lot of inhuman treatments and degrading treatments of citizens in Ogbomosoland, against the provisions of the law and Police Act 2020.

“We also want to let ‘My Lord,’ the Oyo state Chief Justice, Hon Justice Abimbola Munta, to come into the matter of Ogbomoso and see how they can review it in the interest of justice and fair hearing in respect of a lot of people who are in Abolongo and other correctional centres unjustifiably.

“We also want the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Oyo state, Baba Oyewo to know that there are a lot to do relating to the law enforcement agents, the judiciary and the Obas and Baales who perpetrate these injustices.

“We have also written to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters because of the cases involving traditional rulers, it is excessive use of power. There is a great perversion and obstruction of justice in Ogbomoso.”

He particularly mentioned one Inspector Ode Adekunle, at Owode Area Command, whom he alleged of malicious prosecution, perpetrated against one Babatunde Adetunji a.k.a. Ogunyan.

According to the activist, Adetunji purchased a parcel of land and obtained the necessary documents. “He showed us the land agreement documents, which are valid. But when the man that sold the land to him died, someone now from the family, rose to challenge the right of ownership of the land.

“Meanwhile, Adetunji in turn had sold the land to someone else and as the land grabber now began his trouble that person said he was not buying the land again thus requesting his money from Adetunji.

“Adetunji was able to refund N1.2m out of N2.2m initially but unsatisfied the man reported Adetunji at Owode Police Area Command when his balance was not forthcoming leading to Inspector Ode Adekunle being appointed as IPO. Adekunle then mandated Adetunji to return the remaining money, threatening that he would jail him if he refused to pay up by month end (June this year).

“When the man informed us we wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police on July 27, who subsequently appointed another IPO from Ibadan. The IPO from Ibadan requested a mobilization fee of N100, 000. But Ode Adekunle seeing that our organization was contacted by Adetunji, got him arrested, furious that he had the audacity to take the case to us and charged him to a magistrate court on August 10, preferring a case of land grabbing against him just as he concocted other lies.

“Adetunji was remanded in prison where he unjustifiably spent 13 days – at Abolongo Correctional Centre at Oyo. Such abuse of office and power by the police are common in Ogbomoso and it is why we have come here to let the world know so that appropriate authorities can institute investigations and curb the excesses of the bad eggs among the police, unscrupulous traditional rulers, and judges who compromise.

“We are saying that my Lord CJ should look into this matter and see what to do in the interest of justice and fair hearing so that a lot of people in Abolongo and other correctional centres who are there wrongly based on these malicious prosecutions will get justice.

“We are not saying that criminals must not be prosecuted but we are saying that nobody should be punished on an offence he has not committed, we stand for justice, we stand against injustice in Ogbomosoland and every part of Oyo state and all over Nigeria.”

In their uniform attire members of SPANCI displayed placards bearing various inscriptions some of which are: We appreciate the good law enforcement agents who respect the right of the people; Police malicious prosecution, unprofessional conducts and investigations must stop; Cause of justice must be protected; Save the Poor and Needy Charity Initiative is against perversion of course of justice in Ogbomosoland; Perversion and conspiracy must stop in Ogbomosoland; We are asking for justice against malicious prosecution; Perversion and conspiracy must stop in Ogbomosoland.

The group has taken the crusade to several other media houses including Agidigbo FM station in Ibadan, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Ibadan and BCOS, Ibadan.

“We want an overhaul of the police personnel in Ogbomoso, many of the officers need a breath of fresh air somewhere else” Comrade Ezekiel maintained.

“We are being threatened too for our advocacy on the matter, we heard those bad ones are planning to set us up.”



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