Commercial Law

Lawyer calls for amendment of Sheriff Act to enable police pay damages to brutality victims

As Osun Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations and Related Extra Judicial Killings on Thursday continued its sitting, a counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Muyideen Abiodun Adeoye has called for the amendment of Section 84 of Sherrif and Civil Process Act.

Barrister Adeoye said the amendment of the Section would strengthen justice administration, the quest to ensure and enhance acceleration of justice dispensation and as well strengthen the execution of justice in cases involving police brutality.

The legal practitioner attributed the delay in the implementation of some of the court judgments against police brutality to palpable grey areas in the Section of the law.

This is even as one of the petitioners, Babatunde Daroiyo, told the panel that he would have died if not for God, at the hands of the police man who opened fire on him on his way to work in 2004.

Addressing journalists after the proceeding, Barrister Adeoye who led a petitioner in evidence on police brutality, described Section 84 as a cog in the wheel of progress of justice dispensation in the country, particularly in criminal matters against the police.

He expressed displeasure at the way and manner most of the judgements against the police were not adequately executed, attributing the menace to the impediment of the Section.

He said the amendment of the Section would help to mandate the police to execute with immediate effect any judgement against it without a recourse to either the Attorney General of the Federation or Attorney General of the State.

According to him, the amendment of the Section will equally remove any form of impediment hindering the execution of Court Verdicts against the police, thus helping the victims of police brutality to get justice

“This Section has turned to something else. It has turned to a monster, because when you do things without consequences, you can continue to do it. When the police victimise the citizens and they know that there is no consequence for their actions, then they will continue to do it.

“So, this section doesn’t allow the victims of police brutality to get adequate compensations after justice is being done against the police because when a victim brings an action against the police, and he or she gets judgement, it becomes practically impossible to execute the judgement because of the said Section of the law.

“As it is, the said Section of the law requires that you get consent and approval of the Attorney General of the Federation or Attorney General of the State.

“So, when an action is taken against the police and justice is delivered and executed, then, it will serve as a lesson to the police and as a deterrent to the Force’s erring officers and men, thereby, compelling them to sit tight.

“Therefore, amendment of this Section will put a serious end to police brutality because once the police know that any misbehaviour will attract stiffer penalty, then, the palpable excesses on the part of the police would be drastically reduced,” he added.

Narrating his ordeal at the hands of the police, another petitioner, Babatunde Daroiyo, said he was brutalised by the police on his way to work in 2004.

Daroiyo, while being led in evidence by his counsel, said he would have died at the hands of the police that opened fire on him if not for God.
He said he sustained several gunshot injuries on different parts of his body.

According to him, the matter was taken to Federal High Court, Osogbo, in 2011 where N10million was awarded to him as compensation to chusion the traumatic experience suffered to the incident.

He further explained that the judgement obtained against the police at the Federal High Court was not executed, an anomaly that compelled him to file a petition to this panel with the hope to get his judgment implemented and compensation paid.

In the same vein, another petitioner, Mrs. Khadijat Adebisi, who was shot by the police on 24th of October, 2020 at Lameco Junction, along Osogbo-Ilobu road, appealed to the panel to prevail on the Federal Government and the Nigeria Police Force for the compensation of N5million.

Mrs. Adebisi whose leg had been brutalised due to gunshot injury sustained on her thigh, said the incident had restricted her from living a normal life as she had spent a lot of money on surgical operation and medical treatment.

The panel however struck out a petition filed by one Mrs. Nafiu Temilola Ikeade against Osun State Commissioner of Police for lack of diligent prosecution as the petitioner failed to appear before the panel on three consecutive adjourned dates.

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