Shina Abubakar – Osogbo
The Osun State Judicial Investigation Panel on Police Brutality heard on Saturday three different petitions presented by members of the public against the brutality of the men and officers of the now defunct Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS).
The panel also granted postponements to the petitioners and defendants in accordance with their request to guarantee a fair hearing.
He also revealed that he had received another petition, so there were six petitions before him, as the chair of the panel, Judge Akin Oladimeji, said there were more petitions in progress.
Addressing journalists shortly after the court session, retired judge Oladimeji said the court granted postponements to both petitioners and defendants based on the circumstances surrounding the petitions.
He said the decision to grant the postponement was to guarantee a fair hearing for all parties involved and strengthen the judicial process for justice and equity.
Oladimeji, who reiterated the panel’s stated commitment to justify the trust placed in it and fulfill the mandate given to it, said the Panel had started in full capacity to administer justice and propose appropriate recommendations to the government after the entire exercise.
He further stated: “Today we only had three cases and none of them were heard because they did not give testimony of any of the cases.
“The attorneys requested a postponement, but in the special circumstances of the request, all the requests had to be postponed. So, we postpone the requests to other dates ”.
The provision of the Constitution says that “everyone should have the opportunity to be heard. If there are special reasons for postponing cases, they should be postponed ”.
“As I said before, no party would enjoy more than two postponements. Under the circumstances, all of the people who were given an adjournment today have only one more chance of adjournment in their respective cases. The fundamental law of the land is that they must be given the opportunity to be heard.
“We granted the postponement because some of them had not been notified, for example, in the last case we heard today. Respondents do not reside here in Osun, but in Ogun State.
“Although the incident occurred here in Osun, the policemen involved are in Ogun state. So, we have to give an order for the Ogun State and Osun State Police Commissioners and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Zone 2, to be notified with the petitions and all the documents presented by the petitioners ”.
“Before the session, we received five requests. Everyone had enlisted, and as we speak, we have received more. In fact, one was filed this morning and has been shelved.
“As for us, we are not going to waste time. We will attend to each request as it comes because wasting time is not in my character, ”he said.
The three petitions mentioned in the Court were presented by Alhaji Ayo Dauda Adimu; Mr. Amos Adeyemi and Mr. Elusanmi Kolade.
However, the first mentioned petition was deferred due to the absence of the petitioner, while the second petition was deferred at the request of the defendant – the Police Commissioner who was represented by the Legal OC, Francis Baokun Osei, while the third was also deferred due to the absence of respondents.