Elusanmi Kolawole, on Thursday, told an Osun State Judicial Panel of Inquiry how he had been bearing three years’ burden of expending N15,000 monthly on medication for the injuries he sustained in a police beating.
Details of Thursday’s proceedings of the panel, set up to investigate cases of human rights violations and related extra-judicial killings, were shared on the Facebook wall of ‘Office of the Osun State CPS’.
Mr Kolawole, who said he was arrested in Osogbo, Osun State, about three years ago, is praying the panel for an award of N7million compensation to assuage the adverse effect of the beating he received from the police.
He said the policemen beat him so mercilessly that he had been suffering memory loss.
He recalled that five policemen including one identified as Superintendent Ayuba, a police officer he claimed was serving in Ogun State, had stormed his house on the fateful day, levelling the allegation of buying a stolen car against him.
‘I was beaten from Osogbo to Ilesa’
The petitioner alleged that the policemen forced him into a car and tortured him, repeatedly hitting him in the head with harmful weapons, all the way to Ilesa, another part of the state, to meet the person he had later sold the car in question to.
Mr Kolawole, who was being cross-examined by the respondent’s counsel, on Thursday, said, “It is unfortunate that I have been turned to what I am today. As you can see, I have been suffering from memory loss due to the incident of police brutality, which I was a victim of.
“What actually happened was that I was in my house that fateful day when I saw about five fully-armed police officers who had come to arrest me. I was beaten mercilessly and forced into the vehicle.
“I was hit repeatedly on the head with different harmful weapons they took along and I was taken to Ilesa, the residence of the person that I sold the vehicle to.
“The injuries I sustained particularly on the head have been disturbing me till now to the extent that hardly I remember past occurrences. The ugly incident had caused a lot of damage to the extent that I spent N15,000 every month to buy drugs.”
‘I bought and resold the car’
The petitioner recalled that he bought the car in question from Waheed and Tajudeen Hassan, but later sold it to someone in Ilesa, after realizing it was not his preference.
He said he refuted the claim by the policemen that he bought the stolen car by showing them the necessary documents.
He added, “The car was sold to me at the rate of N220,000, out of which I paid N100,000 to the owner as a deposit. When I made a move to return the car, I was asked to look for a buyer after which the person that sold the car to me and myself took it to someone that wanted to buy the car.
“But a few weeks later, five police officers came from Mogbon Police Division in Ogun State, alongside the persons that sold the car to me and I was bundled out of the house around 1:00 a.m. and taken to Ilesa and later to Zone 11 here in Osogbo.”
According to him, he remained at Zone 11 in Osogbo for a few days before he was later released.
‘Police sold my car to another police officer’
The petitioner said that the car, retrieved from the latest buyer, was taken to Magbon police station in Ogun State.
He alleged that the car was subsequently sold to another police officer.
“All efforts to retrieve the vehicle proved abortive but we later got to know that the car had been sold to a police officer in Ogun State,” he added.
The panel chairman, Akin Oladimeji, a retired judge, adjourned the case till Friday for further hearing.
The petitioner’s lawyer, Bidemi Odutola, who spoke with journalists after Thursday’s proceedings, expressed confidence in the capacity of the panel to dispense justice.