Judiciary News

Yoruba Nation Rally: Court Indicts Nigeria Police Jumoke Oyedele’s Death

A coroner’s inquest to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of a trader, Jumoke Oyeleke who was killed by a stray bullet has indicted the police of extra-judicial shooting.

The coroner, Mukaila Fadeyi, on Monday in his findings delivered at the Samuel Ilori Courthouse, Ogba, Lagos declared after weighing the various evidence gathered during the inquest which began on July 3, 2021 that, “the only logical conclusion is that she died from a weapon shot by an officer of the Nigerian Police Force.”

The Magistrate also expressed displeasure at the conduct and general nonchalance of the police officers, including its witness during the inquest – ACP Tunde Adeniran, as well as the police legal team, who were said to have showed disdain to the proceedings.

While  sympathizing with the family of the deceased, the Magistrate added that the 25 year-old trader must have had lofty dreams which she hoped to achieve, but weren’t met due to the unfortunate circumstances of her death.

As part of his recommendations, the Magistrate urged the Lagos state government to engage with the Federal Government on the training and retraining of police officers on the rights to hold peaceful protests in a democracy.

He also called on the Federal Government to pay compensation to the the family of the deceased, and urged the Inspector-General of Police to fish out and punish all bad eggs within the police, as a way to stop accidental shootings.

State counsel, Seun Akinde, appeared for the Lagos State Government on Monday; and Taiwo Olawanle represented the family of the deceased. But, there was no legal representation for the Police.

It would be recalled that Miss Jumoke Oyeleke was shot dead on 3rd of July, 2021 when the police attempted to disperse the peaceful Yoruba Nation rally at the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park in Ojota by firing guns and tear gas canisters into the air.

The police swiftly denied complicity in her death, saying that they never fired “a single bullet” at the rally.

However, the autopsy report countered their position.

In a bid to get to the root of the incident, the state government set up an inquest, a fact-finding tribunal to undermine the circumstances surrounding her death.

The coroner’s inquest had the mandate to establish the identity of the deceased, how, when and where she died, And to provide recommendations to forestall a reoccurrence.

The inquest which started in August 2021, had six witnesses including the deceased’s mother; Ifeoluwa Oyeleke, assistant commissioner of police; Tunde Adeniran and Sunday Soyemi, a pathologist with LASUTH.

Also, a trader, David Okebe, told the coroner when he visited the scene of the incident that he saw some unidentified police officers ransacking the deceased after she was shot and left her for dead.

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