#EndSars: Oyo Panel orders hospital board to release trader’s corpse

By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality has directed the Oyo State Hospital Management Board to release the corpse of an Ibadan based trader.

The deceased, Kehinde Omotoso, had died in police custody last July, after he was arrested by police officers from Iyaganku, Ibadan, for an offence allegedly committed by his nephew.

The Panel gave the directive on Thursday, after the defense closed its case with the testimony of its last witness, Inspector Shuaib Ibrahim, as well as the testimony of a doctor with the State General Hospital.

Ibrahim was one of the police officers that arrested Omotoso, while the doctor was summoned by the Panel to clarify issues such as the location of the corpse and condition of Omotoso when he was brought to the hospital.

The Panel said ”releasing the corpse is to enable the family give a befitting  burial to the deceased.”

The family of the late Omotoso had lodged a complaint on the Flagit App of the Akin Fadeyi Foundation immediately after his death and the foundation had contacted the Afe Babalola Chambers to take over the matter.

In his testimony, Dr Olawale Oladimeji had stated that Omotoso was brought in dead to the hospital on July 21, 2020 around 11.15am by Sergeant Ibrahim Shuaibu of SCID, Iyaganku.

He added that all they did was to confirm him dead as there was no sign of life in him before he was then moved to the morgue where he confirmed the corpse was still kept.

Toyese Owoade from Afe Babalola Chambers, who is the legal representative of the family, had applied that the panel order a release of the corpse to the family so they could bury their dead almost a year after his demise. The Panel had granted the request and ordered that the Hospital Management Board release the corpse to the family, adding that the panel would make its recommendations on the matter.

Inspector Shuaib Ibrahim had confirmed, during cross examination before the panel, that they had not concluded investigations to determine whether or not Omotoso was guilty of allegations against him before his death, adding that nothing incriminating was found in his house when it was searched and confirming that the order for his remand was taken the morning he died.

Meanwhile, the case of Jimoh Isiaq, the young man allegedly killed in Ogbomoso by police bullet during the EndSARS protest, was also heard with the prosecution calling its sixth witness, who is the second to the last witness, Dr Olumuyiwa Ogunlaja, the Director of Clinical Services at the Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso. He submitted a medical report that was admitted and tagged Exhibit P.

The case delineated OYJPPB/001 however had to be adjourned on the request of the prosecuting counsel, who asked for an adjournment to allow them produce the last witness, who is the doctor that carried out an autopsy on Jimoh Isiaq.

The panel granted the request and adjourned till June 10, for the prosecution to close its case and for the defense to open its case.

 

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere

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