The alleged harassment of Mrs. Onasanya Comfort Iyabode, a lady journalist, has been presented to the Ogun State Commissioner of Police by the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA), for investigation.
The brutal experience of the original petitioner, Iyabo Onabode Comfort at Ishara Police Divisional Headquarters, as contained in her letter to HURMA Central office in Lagos was fully presented to the police Commissioner for proper investigation and necessary action for justice.
Comfort Iyabode on Thursday, 25th November, 2021 visited the Central Office of the Human Rights body in Somolu, Lagos State, to narrate her brutal experience of how she alongside her senior sister were harassed by the DPO who afterwards got a phone engineer to delete all recording on their phones after several persuasion for forgiveness from the community leaders.
The petition to the CP signed by the Executive Director of HURMA titled:
“ALLEGED HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF DPO ISHARA POLICE STATION : A CASE OF ARBITRARINESS, CORRUPTION AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN OGUN STATE”, seek the prompt intervention of the Commissioner to investigate why the DPO of Ishara had to humiliate the complainant, confiscating her phone and prevented her from contacting her relatives and lawyers?
Iyabode’s petition which was presented to the CP reads in part:
“On Thursday 11th of November 2021, I went to my hometown with my elder sister to check on my father’s property left for us after his death. This is not our first time of going to the land. We usually go there with my father when he was alive and nobody there question my father’s authority or stop us from accessing the land. But to our greatest surprise, one Mr. Ramoni who claim to be a family member stopped us from accessing the land on the faithful day simply because he saw us with a surveyor that came with us.
“Myself and my sister decided to leave with the surveyor because we did not want any trouble, but on our way back to the town from the outskirts we were stopped by some police officers from Ishara Police Station who informed us that the acclaimed family member, Mr. Ramoni and his accomplice, contacted the police station and requested that we should be invited to the station to make peace concerning the land.
“I asked the police officers to allow the surveyors to go because they have another appointment while we will follow them to the station which was agreed on. But surprisingly to us, as we got close to the police station, the Surveyor called and informed us that the police officers did not allow them to go but insisted that they must come to the station. We had to go back to make same request that the police officers should allow them to go while we present ourselves at the station to sort things out, but the police officers insisted that they must come with us to the station. The leader of the surveyor’s team finally agreed to follow us to the station.
“Immediately we arrived the police station, the DPO came out of his office and said to us “You are the useless so stupid lunatic that didn’t want to follow the police to the station on my order”. I replied him by asking what my offense was to be so addressed in my first time in his office. I told him further that I was of the opinion that he invited us for peaceful intervention and so I didn’t deserve such address. One of the police officers present asked why I had to question the DPO and afterwards attacked me. He was also joined by the complainant who claimed to be a member of my family. They beat me and my sister who tried to intervene, all in the presence of the DPO. The DPO gave all encouragement to the harassment and also told us that he could do anything he likes with us in his station and none would question his actions.
We tried to make some video recordings of the event but our mobile phones were forcefully snatched from us.
“After some beatings, me and my sister ran out of the police station for safety, but the DPO instructed that our vehicle’s tyres be deflated. We finally ran to the palace of the king, His Royal Majesty, Oba Albert Adebose Mayungbe who after hearing our story instructed that we should be accompanied to the Baale (head of ITAKETE/Eposo) of the community to follow us to the police station and resolve the matter.
“On our arrival at the station the next day alongside the Baale, Chief Adegbuyi Solomon Babatunde, the DPO insisted on deleting all recordings on our phones. He finally called a GSM engineer who had to work on the phone and deleted all our recordings before he finally released the phone to us after several persuasion.
“I am presently in pains and therefore reporting this matter to the Human Rights Monitoring Agenda so as to help address the unjust way I was treated alongside my elder sister. More so, the DPO appears to have special interest on the side of the complainant and this may form a basis for a future threat to our lives and properties.