Petitioner identified as Sulaimon Badmus on Saturday appeared before Osun State Panel of Inquiry investigating police brutality and extra judicial killings to demand N125million compensation alleging that three police officers killed 8 passengers and robbed them of their business capital at a checkpoint.
The petitioner said the three policemen namely; Benjamin Oyekhire; Jimoh Michael and Gershon Soba on 17th February, 2001at the Obeira police checkpoint, Okene area of Kogi State gruesomely killed 8 passengers out of 10 passengers after they spotted business capital with one of them.
“On that fateful day, I chartered a bus from Osogbo to Benue, but the driver took another eight passengers along the way who were going to Katsina State to buy rams because it was during Salah festival.
“But when we got to Obeira, Okene axis of Kogi State, we met three fully-armed police officers on our way. The driver stopped and they accosted us, but when the officers saw a huge amount of money in our possession to purchase rams, they started misbehaving and asked us to follow them. We were deceived by the officers because we were told that they were taking us to the station, not knowing they were taking us to the forest. They tied our hands and one of the passengers that attempted to escape was gunned down immediately.
“They poured petrol on us intending to set us ablaze. But when they ran after one of us that attempted to run, it was in that instance that I struggled to escape with one other passenger. Unfortunately, the remaining passengers were burnt to death, including the driver.
“When the matter was reported in the news and the police started the investigation, then I showed up to follow up the matter and gave evidence. I assisted the police to arrest the three officers and they were charged to court. The case was taken to Lokoja High Court where the three erring officers were sentenced to death by hanging.
“I was not too satisfied with the judgement because killing them was not enough as justice. None of the victims was compensated since the incident occurred twenty years ago. That is why I approached the panel for due compensation,” he added.
The counsel to the petitioners, Barrister J.O. Babalola, prayed the court to award his clients a total sum of N125 million as compensation to cushion the negative effect of all they had suffered from the incident.
The Chairman of the Panel, Justice Akin Oladimeji (rtd), asked the petitioners’ counsel to prepare his final address for adoption and adjourned the case to March 5th, 2021.