Oppression: Human rights group gives harder tackle against police command Ogbomoso, reiterates call for probe 

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Oppression: Human rights group gives harder tackle against police command Ogbomoso, reiterates call for probe

Khalid ABRAHAM

The Save the Poor and Needy Charity Initiative (SPANCI), a human rights group, has reiterated call for investigation of alleged perversion of justice and other infractions against the police in Ogbomoso area of Oyo state crying that rather than the malady abating the men of the command have intensified action in the ignoble direction just as it alleged that members of the group are now being targeted for persecution.

This is contained in a press release signed by president of the group, Bello Yemi Ezekiel JP AICMC/ACIArb (UK), titled, “Update on SPANCI’S protest against malicious prosecution, perversion and miscarriage of justice in Ogbomoso land,” and made available to ogbomosoinsightonline.com Thursday evening.

It is recalled that two weeks ago the group staged a protest in the premises of Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) Ajilete FM substation, Gambari, Ogbomoso and in other places in Ibadan, calling attention to the alleged miscarriage of justice and other misdemeanours that border on highhandedness by the police in Ogbomosoland.

The group consequently beseeched the Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, the Inspector General of Police, Oyo State Chief Justice Abimbola Munta, Oyo State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo and other authorities to institute probe into the allegations and to prevail on the security operatives to henceforth follow the path of honour and adhere to the statutes books.

“This release is for the purpose of updating the public about the events so far, as regards the protest carried out by our organization, whereat we pleaded for the intervention of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Oyo State Engr. Abiodun Seyi Makinde, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, the Honorable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Oyo State, the Inspector General of Police and other stakeholders against conspiracy, police oppression, malicious prosecution, perversion of Justice, prevention, obstruction, defeat of cause of justice and miscarriage of Justice which have sent some innocent people to jail or remand or early grave.”

Members of the group

It additionally laments, “Most times civil matters are converted to criminal matters and money extorted from innocent claimants/victims before being turned to accused/defendants and thereafter maliciously prosecuted by the police,” citing the example of a Mr. Babatunde Adetunji, whom it described as its client and whose land title documents were seized unlawfully and prosecuted in favour of a “land grabber.”

“This and other injustices and miscarriage of justice were the reasons for our protest after our many petitions to the Commissioner of Police against such acts yielded no result, as the acts kept emerging from different angles and grew worse on daily bases.”

And so the ombudsman declares, “We believe this violates section 34 (1)(A)(B) Section 35 and 36 of 1999 constitution as amended, section 32(2) and 37(1)(A)(B)(C) police act 2020 and Principle 2 rule (1)(2) of police code of conduct for professional officer. Section 8(1)(A)(B) and (2) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which incidentally has been domesticated in Oyo State.”

The organization now frowns at issuing of threats to its members alleging that one of their comrades (Baba Gbemileke Okesola a.k.a. Okuta), whose son joined in their protest was summoned to Owode Area Command to be confronted with series of warnings.

“Furthermore, after our weekly programme on Ajilete 92.1 FM on Thursday (date) at 8:15-8:30, we have received series of invitations through phone conversations from various quarters like Human Rights Groups Association in Ogbomoso demanding that we join their association so that we can participate in meetings with the police.

“We are however of the view that joining an association is a voluntary thing and in view of our experience with the police, such a demand at this critical period may not be favourable to our organization and yearnings for justice delivery.

“We were also reliably informed by one who identified himself as Awoko, the Vice Chairman of FIBAN in Oyo State that the Police at Owode are looking for Mr. Olawale Adebowale (the presenter of our programme on Ajilete FM) because of our weekly programme, where we speak against injustice being perpetrated by the police and other people in Ogbomosoland. The said Awoko is currently requesting that Mr. Adebowale should come and meet him for the purpose of begging the Area Commander, Owode Ogbomoso for an undisclosed offence.”

SPANCI as a result notes, “That the officers at Owode Area Command are supporting their indicted officer and there cannot be any justice done by them to our client Mr. Babatunde Adetunji who was maliciously prosecuted over his own land, they are not only after Mr. Olawale Adebowale but also all the members of our organization, including me and that there is a conspiracy against us by some people and or institutions who/which believe our organization is depriving them of the benefits they get from perpetrating/perpetuating injustice in Ogbomoso Land.”

It further affirms, “Any purported invitation from or investigation by them or their privy is against our rights to fair hearing because of the earlier indictment and also a way of fighting back. Nemo Judex Incausa Sua.”

The organization now throws a weighty punch, a serious allegation, “They may go to any length to set us up for criminal allegations.”

The Area Commander is consequently called upon to stand firm against the observed contraventions leveled by his men and “stand for justice and withdraw the malicious charges against innocent people and punish any of his officers who is found to have perpetrated injustice in the interest of fair hearing and justice.”

While expressing its willingness to cooperate with the police, the group submits, “We are supposed to work together as a team in love and purity of heart and not see each other as enemies in the interest of justice and fair hearing.

“It is in doing this that peace and tranquility can reign in our society and the job of the police as security agency can be made easier. That we shall therefore appreciate co-operation with law enforcement agents and other stakeholders to fight against injustice in the interest of peace, harmony and for the benefit of the people of Oyo State,” emphasizing nonetheless that higher authorities should “stand for cause of justice and intervene in this matter in the interest of justice and fair hearing to avoid breakdown of law and order in Ogbomoso and its environs.”

 

 

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