Osun Judicial Panel
By Shina Abubakar ― Osogbo
As the Osun State panel of inquiry set up to investigate Police brutality and extra-judicial killings in the state commenced its sitting Thursday, a victim’s father Rasheed Ayinla alleged that his son, Ismaila was killed in cold blood by the disbanded SARS personnel to steal his money.
Ayinla’s in his petition before the panel disclosed that his son was killed by two personnel of the disbanded police unit, identified as ‘Odua’ and ‘Are’ at Ile-Labo Sinmi Oko guest house in Iwo, on July 18, 2020 after lodging at the guest house the previous day.
He said the deceased who resides in Ore, Ondo State was traveling to northern part of the country to buy Rams which was to resold for Sallah celebration and checked into the guest house to pass the night with the intention to move on the following morning.
According to the father, Ismail, a father of five was shot early hours of the morning, as the SARS personnel claimed he was an armed robber who invaded the hotel at night but only N997,730.00 was found on him out of the N4million with him before he was killed.
“The deceased, Ismaila Rasheed, left Ore, Ondo State, on 17th day of July, 2020, on a mission to buy rams for Eid Fitri Celebrations. He landed in Iwo on 17th day of July, 2020, at about 9:30 p.m. with the intention of passing night in a hotel till the following day when he would embark on a journey to the northern part of Nigeria to buy rams in large quantity for his customers.
“He headed straight to Ile Labo Sinmi Oko Guest House at about 9:30 pm where he lodged until the unfortunate incident took place at about 2a.m. on the following day. At the Guest House was the staff in persons of the Manager, Afeez Tella Adio and other attendants – Afeez, Ayisat and Yinka.
“In order to beef up security along Iwo/Ibadan Expressway. Two Police Officers, from Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had been accommodated in the Guest House by the owner, Alhaji Ayo Dauda Adigun, on the consent of the Divisional Police Officer, DPO. The two officers, “Odua” and “Are” had stayed in the Guest House for about seven months free of charge.
“Late Ismaila Rasheed was given Room in the Guesthouse by the Manager, Afeez Adio. The deceased enjoyed with the guests particularly the football fans that came to watch the match between Arsenal and Liverpool on that day.
At about 3:30 A.M., one of the officers of the SARS in the Guest House, called the Manager, Afeez Tella Adio, that they had shot dead one of the thieves that invaded the Guesthouse.
The Manager. Afeez Tella Adio, rushed to the Guest House and found Ismaila Rasheed in his pool of blood. The Manager said, the last word from the deceased was (Omo Ole, o ti pa mi) “Thieves, you have killed me”.
“At about 6:20am on 18/7/2020, the Manager ran to the house of the owner of the Guest House, at No. 131. Adegbodu’s Compound, Gidigbo Quarters, Iwo, to inform him of the development. Alhaji Ayo Dauda Adigun, the owner of the Guest House, ran there and found the D.P.O and other officers of the Nigeria Police had been there before him.
“The duo of the SARS officers in the Guest House, shot dead the deceased, Ismaila Rasheed, in his cold blood on 18/7/2020 and carted away a sum of Four Million Naira (N4,000,000.00) meant for the purchase of rams as one Isiaka, the deceased friend, whom the deceased called last about 2:30am on 18/7/2020, made bold to say that his deceased friend, had on him a sum of over Five Million Naira for the purchase of the rams.
The deceased body was taken to the mortuary at the General Hospital, Iwo, by the Police and he was eventually buried on 20/7/2020 at Obatedo Cemetery, Iwo, amid tears from the sympathizers”, reads the petition
Similarly, a joint signatory to the petition, Adio Dauda, the owner of the hotel, also said his business had suffered great loss due to the action of the SARS personnel, adding that since the incident, customers have abandoned the guest house.
He sought the relief of the committee to make available for his business, which has suffered, the sum of N6million while the deceased father sought the return of the stolen N4million from the deceased and additional N100million as damages to take care of his two wives and five children.
However, the Chairman of the Panel, retired Justice Akin Oladimeji, urged the petitioners to make a proper breakdown of the damages sought from government to justify their losses.
He also urged victims to come out and tell their stories, saying the panel would not compromise its integrity and would ensure they get justice.