Osun Panel of Inquiry: Petitioner describes how father’s murder made him a school dropout

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Abimbola Abatta, Osogbo

A petitioner, Olusegun Olaosebikan told the Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra-Judicial Killings at its resumed sitting on Friday that his father’s death made him drop out of school.

Olaosebikan, who approached the panel to seek justice for the murder of his father, said the killing also rendered the family wretched as tangible and intangible properties of the deceased were disposed of to take care of his hospital and other bills following the gunshots he received from a police officer.

Narrating his ordeal, Olaosebikan said his late father was shot by the police on January 1st, 2001 when he and the deceased were returning from crossover prayer night.

He said the deceased who was the breadwinner of the family was gruesomely killed by overzealous officers who were on patrol in Iwo.

In his words, “I had to drop out of school when I couldn’t afford to pay the tuition fees. I was studying statistics at Osun State Polytechnic, Iree before the incident occurred.

“On that fateful day, my dad and I were returning from worship centre where we went to pray to herald the New Year when some police officers drove across our path and started shooting.

“It was in the process that my father was shot in the head. We rushed him to the hospital in Iwo before he was transferred to Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, where he spent six months.

“There were five police officers in the patrol vehicle, but the only one I could identify was Olalekan Jimoh, who was not produced to face the law. Unfortunately, all efforts to keep the deceased alive and save him proved abortive as he died after six years of excruciating agonies.

“The incident made me drop out of school when I couldn’t afford to pay the tuition fees. Not only that, I was unable to stay at school because of his serious sickness and we had to sell virtually all his belongings, including landed property and farmlands to save his life before he finally gave up the ghost.

“Though we took the matter to Iwo High Court in 2002, we were forced to withdraw the case when there was a palpable threat to life by some top police officers.

“We are here after 20 years to re-present the case in line with the government’s directive to forward any petition on police brutality. I am appealing to the panel to grant all my prayers to fish out the killers and order adequate compensation to the tune of N100million,” he added.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Akin Oladimeji (rtd.), ordered the presentation of final addresses by the two parties and adjourned the case to March 19th, 2021 for the adoption of the said addresses.