By Onozure Dania— Lagos
Mr. Michael Openiyi, the 71-year-old father of ex-Celtel (now Airtel) staff, late Olusegun Openiyi, on Saturday, told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) related Abuses and other Matters, that he could not pursue his late son’s case in court because he could not pay Festus Keyamo(SAN) legal fees.
Mr. Michael Openiyi, an ex-soldier who was led in examination-in-chief by his counsel Babatunde Adefilaka, said: “We took this case to Festus Keyamo but because I didn’t have money so we dropped the case.
“He would have been our family lawyer.”
Late Olusegun Openiyi was allegedly shot dead by a policeman, Sergeant Jide Akintola, at Lagos University (UNILAG), while he was on official duty on August 19, 2007.
“On August 20, 2007, my neighbours asked me to dress up that my son had an accident and I should come to the police station.
“On getting there, I saw a mammoth crowd. They told me that my son has been shot. After much sympathy from the crowd, I received a message from the DPO of Sabo Yaba Police Station, Samuel Olukayode.
“He asked me to come to the police station. The crowd followed me there. He told me that the incident happened at UNILAG and that his body was at Lagos State General Hospital mortuary.
“I said I wanted to see the person that killed my son and he brought out Jide Akintola. I requested for a Bible and prayed that God should give judgement in this case.”
He added that at the mortuary on the Island, he was told the police brought an unknown person, but that when the body was shown him, he found out t was his son.
“I wrote the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Commissioner of Police, but nothing was done.
“It was swept under the carpet; no response till today. I was interviewed at Radio Lagos over this incident..
“When it happens to the son of a rich man, the scenario will change,” he added.
The septuagenarian said he wants justice to be done, adding that his late son left a widow, two children and his aged parents with nobody to carter for them.
Earlier, Olusegun Openiyi’s widow, Tolulope, told the panel that her children were aged two years and two weeks, respectively, when her husband was killed by the police.
She said that since the incident occurred on August 19, 2007, the police never visited them.
She said things were hard for her. She had been given notice to quit by her landlord, while the children have been at home since January “because I was unable to pay their school fees.”
She further gave the SARS panel the Force number of Jide Akintola as 32405.
“I am crying for justice. I have been suffering for 13 years. It is not easy. It was after two years of marriage that I lost my husband,” she said.