The family of a 27-year-old student of Osun State Polytechnic Iree, Afolabi Abiola, who was allegedly killed by the police, has sued the Nigeria Police Force, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba and a police officer, Tobi Timileyin, at the High Court of Osun State for violation of the deceased right to life.
The family, through their counsels, Funmi Falana and Benedict Akinyemi of Falana & Falana Chambers also seeks N200million damages against the respondents.
The deceased mother, Mrs Ebun Olaiya Afolabi, filed the suit. In an originating motion on notice, Mrs Afolabi wants the court to declare that the humiliation and degrading treatment meted out on the deceased before he was killed by the 3rd respondent (Timileyin) is illegal, unconstitutional and a gross violation of his right to dignity of human person as guaranteed in Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004.
She wants the court to declare that the seizure of Lexus ES330 Car and Iphone 7 belonging to the deceased by the respondents constitutes a violation of the deceased rights guaranteed under Sections 44 of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 14 of the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. 10, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and it is therefore unconstitutional and illegal.
Mrs Afolabi also wants an order from the court compelling the respondents to release forthwith the Lexus ES 330 car and Iphone 7 belonging to the deceased unlawfully seized and took over by the respondents.
In a 17-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, Mrs Afolabi recalled that in the night of Sunday, April 3, 2022, Afolabi Abiola and his brother, Azeez followed his friend, Matthew Adedokun to his house at zone 10, Osogbo to pass the night with him.
“At about 10.56 pm my son, Afolabi Abiola, Adedokun, his girlfriend, Alimot Adekeye and one Azeez settled down outside the residence of Adedokun but within the same premises eating dinner.
“All of a sudden and in a commando and brigandage manner, four men, armed with guns and all dressed in mufti who are officers of the Nigeria police under the command of Osun state jumped the fence into the compound where the deceased, his friend and his friend’s girlfriend were eating.
“Upon breaking into the Adedokun’s apartment, the officers said they were raiding the neighbourhood and were going to arrest them.
“One of the officers, the 3rd respondent (Timileyin) shot Afolabi Abiola with his gun, handcuffed and arrested the three other people they met at the Adedokun’s house.
“They packed the Afolabi Abiola together with his friends and brother into their mini bus parked outside their compound and zoom off from the scene.
“Afolabi Abiola was soaked heavily in the pool of his own blood, appealing profusely to the police officers to take him to the nearest hospital, while his friends joined in begging the police officers, including the 3rd defendant to take him to the nearest hospital but the officers declined their pleas, instead, they took all the arrested suspects to their police station at Anti Thuggery Squad of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Osun State Command and detained them.
“The 3rd respondent (Timileyin) together with other police officers that carried out the raid drove Afolabi Abiola out of the police station to an unknown destination.
When I asked the police officers about the whereabouts of Afolabi Abiola, the 3rd respondent and other officers said that they did not know his whereabouts.
“Upon putting pressure on the police because of their blatant denial of the deceased’s whereabouts, the police officers later confessed that they had taken him to an undisclosed hospital where he was receiving medical treatment.
“When I requested the police officers to grant me access to the hospital where my son was receiving treatment they informed me that my son had died as a result of the gun injury he sustained.
“I asked for the corpse of my son which the police refused to release to me, not knowing that the police had already buried my son without my knowledge or consent,” she lamented.