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Compel the police to find my son – Father begs EndSARS Panel

It was an emotionally charged atmosphere at Tuesday’s sitting of the Oyo State Judicial Panel of Inquiry as a petitioner, Lawal Orelope, who is a father to a missing Police Officer in Oyo State, Bashit Orelope burst into tears while appealing to the members of the panel to compel Oyo State Police Command to ensure they find the Police Officer.

The mood of the Petitioner, who said he had lost a son to a mistaken identity issue before the incident of Bashit attracted the sympathy of everybody at the sitting. 

Orelope said Bashit who was twenty-five years old when he got missing last year was employed in to the service of Nigeria Police in 2016.

He said Bashit was first attached to Eruwa Divisional Police Headquarters in 2016 but in 2018 attached to Igana Area Command Police Headquarters. 

He told the panel that on January 13, 2020 he got a call from from a number 09060607062 at about 1:37pm and the person asked if he was the Bashit’s next of kin, which he answered in the affirmative, saying he heard the caller telling someone next to him that he was speaking with his father and ended the call. 

He further explained, “I called the number and the person asked if the DPO and the Area Commander had called me and I said no. I inquired what happened to Bashit and I wasn’t given an answer”. 

He said he rushed home and informed his father (Bashit’s grandfather) about the call but couldn’t go to Igana that same day because it was late. 

He said he went to Igana on the 14th of January, 2020 and met an officer who told him that Bashit had gone out with the DPO and the Area Commander hence the need for him to wait which he did for about 3 hours but went back home when he could not see anybody to attend to him again.

Orelope said on the 17th of January 2020, he went back to Igana Station and met the Area Commander who told him that Bashit went on operation with two other officers who took some members of the vigilante group along, and on sighting the robbers, Bashit jumped from the moving motorcycle that was taking them to the scene, and rushed to the bush.

He told the panel that the Area Commander to him that the witness account report said the robbers also divided themselves into two, while one set was shooting other went into the bush.

“The Vigilante said after the operation they called Bashit several times but to no avail, as they could not find him.”

The petitioner said the police had arrested the two other police officers involved in the operation in the process of getting the missed officer, though he alleged that police had not done anything.

He said he had written letter to Inspector General of Police, IGP, Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 11 and the Oyo State Commissioner of Police which had not yielded any result.

During the cross examination, the Petitioner agreed with counsel to Oyo State Command of Nigeria Police, Funke Fawole that Police had commenced investigation into the case which led to the arrest of two Police officers.

Fawole therefore promised the petitioner that the Police would do all it could to get to the root of the matter, but appealed to the petitioner to support them. 

The petition was adjourned till April 27, 2021, for further hearing.

Sunday Ogunyemi

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