Shina Abubakar— Osogbo
A father of a Mechanic Engineering undergraduate at Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, Taiwo Daniel has revealed before the State panel of Inquiry against Police brutality and extrajudicial killings how his son, Babatunde Daniel was killed and his corpse withheld by police for 12 years.
He also disclosed how police authority flagrantly disobeyed court order that the corpse should be released for proper burial after declaring his killing as illegal and awarded N30 million compensation against the police.
Giving evidence before the panel on Saturday, he said the then Ilesa Area Commander of the Nigeria Police, Mr. Joshua Atunise shot Babatunde on his thigh twice before dumping him at SARS cell in Osogbo.
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According to him, some students were returning from an occasion on November 28, 2008, when they were accosted by the police at Ilo Ijesa via Ilesa.
“After identifying themselves as students and the policemen refused to believe them, they called Babatunde, being a student leader, to further back up their claim. But rather than release them, they were tagged armed robbers.”
Daniel explained further, “On November 28, 2008, some students coming from an occasion were arrested at Ilo Ijesha via Ilesha by the police at a checkpoint. After they identified themselves the police refused to let them go.
“To further prove their identities, they called my son, Babatunde who was their leader and was not at the scene. When he showed up, he was arrested alongside other students.
“The police officers told them to give them N30,000 before they could be released but my son refused. The officers called the then Area Commander, Mr. Joshua Atunise that they have arrested some armed robbers terrorising the community.
“ The Area Commander took my son and one other student to the scene where he was arrested. The Area Commander kept on tagging my son armed robber, which he objected to vehemently. A position that infuriated the officer, Atunise shot him twice on his thigh and took him to the then Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Morenike in Osogbo.
The CP told Atunise that my son should be given medical attention but he took him to the SARS cell at Oke-Baale, Osogbo. That was where my son bleeds to death on November 29, 2008.
“Police arraigned my son’s colleagues, but the court discharged them. We filed a suit against the police for killing my son and withholding his corpse. On March 29, 2012 the court declared that the killing of my son was illegal and ordered police should pay us N30 million and arrest the Area Commander who must be prosecuted.
“On May 28, 2012, a letter communicating the judgment of the court to the police was received by the police, but nothing was done in that respect.
” Again, on May, 4, 2020 the court directed the police to release the corpse for appropriate burial but they refused to do that. The corpse is still with the police, ” he added.
The father demanded that the panel should force the police to obey all court judgments in respect of the matter.
After listening to the bereaved father, Panel Chairman Justice Akin Oladimeji, adjourned the matter till Thursday, December 17, for hearing.