By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
The owner of Ilelabo Sinmin Oko Guest House in Iwo, Osun State, Alhaji Dauda Adigun on Saturday, 21 November, 2020 explained to the State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings how some operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, killed a man in the guest house.
Adigun, while being led in witness by his lawyer, F. O. Ajani, said some SARS operatives, numbering 8, had in November, 2019, lodged in the guest house free of charge after a community leader in Iwo, Alhaji Suleiman introduced them to him.
According to Adigun, the community leader, who owns CB Hotel in Iwo, said the operatives were in the town for protection in the town and that they should be allowed to lodge free of charge.
He said that by the end of May, 2020, the SARS operatives came to thank him for accommodating them. Adigun added that the officers informed him that some other team of SARS officials were coming form Osogbo to replace them in the two rooms given to them.
The petitioner said another team of SARS operatives who lodged in the guest house shot a guest identified as Ismaila and killed him on July 18, 2020. He said the corpse of Ismaila was found in between the two rooms that the SARS operatives lodged in.
He added that some policemen later came to the hotel and asked that the corpse be deposited in a mortuary.
Later, Adigun revealed that the traditional ruler of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi invited the deceased family and other affected people in the town for a peace meeting. He urged all involved not to drag the police to court and to settle amicably.
He added that ever since the incident happened, he has been witnessing very low patronage and that he had suffered great economic loss. He then asked the panel to compensate him with N6million.
“I was asked to accommodate the SARS operatives in my guest because I was told they were in Iwo to protect us. But on July 18, 2020, I was called that these SARS operatives shot and killed a lodger (Ismail).
“Some policemen from Osogbo said we should take the corpse to the mortuary.
“Oluwo summoned all of us to pacify and sympathise with the family of the deceased. He asked them to remove the corpse from mortuary and bury it according to Islamic rites. He was buried at the Muslim Cemetery in Iwo on 20th July, 2020 around 3pm.
“Sinec then, my guest house has not been receiving patronage. People accused me of accommodating the operatives who killed a guest. I suffered great economic loss. I beg this panel to ressuscitate my business with N6 million,” the petitioner said.
Counsel to the state Commisoner of Police in Osun, F.B. Osei during cross examination, admitted that there was shooting and killing in the guest house but said the family of deceased had agreed not to press charges.
He said the low patronage suffered by Adigun might have been caused by the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The petitioner’s counsel sought for an adjournment of the matter and the chairman of the panel, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akin Oladimeji (retired), adjourned the matter till Friday, 27 November 2020, for continuation of hearing.