Osun begins coroner’s inquest into alleged killing of police officer by DSS operative

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Uba Group

Uba Group

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

A coroner inquest has been ordered to probe the alleged killing of a police corporal, Rauf Fawale, by an operative of the Department of State Security, David Olowoporoku and two others in January 2021.

The coroner started sitting in Osogbo last Wednesday. The panel is headed by a Chief Magistrate, Olusegun Ayilara.

An officer from the Osun State Police Command, ASP John Idoko, who appeared for the state Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode; the Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola on Security and former Commissioner of Police in the state, Abiodun Ige, lawyers from the Legal Aid, Directorate of Public Prosecution of the state Ministry of Justice, and National Human Rights Commission were present at the first sitting.

Julie Olorunfemi appeared for the Legal Aid, Abayomi Ogundele appeared for the NHRC as an observer, while Fola Akinrujomu represented the DPP.

The Chief Magistrate said the coroner inquest was constituted to find the cause of the death of one Rauf Fawale. “We will need to brainstorm among ourselves to know who and who we should issue summons to,” Ayilara told the counsels after urging them to suggest people that could be invited and summoned to appear at the coroner.

Akinrujomu said the case file was sent to the DPP for its legal advice adding that the original and duplicate case file should be returned to the department “so that we will know what to do from there.”

Counsel for the Legal Aid, Olorunfemi, said the family of the deceased, who were also present at the sitting, have been crying for justice since the incident happened adding that she notified the state governor about it before the coroner was ordered.

After suggestions by counsels, Ayilara ordered that the Manager of Riverside Club where late Fawale was allegedly beaten to death, the Managing Director of Morning Star Hospital, Alekuwodo, Osogbo, Managing Director of Anu Olu Private Hospital, Ilobu, Managing Director of Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Managing Director of Esho Spine and Brain Hospital, Oke-Fia be summoned.

Also to be summoned are the Investigative Police Officer in the case, a Police officer, Modinat Badmus, who allegedly hosted a party at the club, the Divisional Police Officer of Dada Estate, one Adisa Badmus, David Olowoporoku and two others.

The Chief Magistrate also said that an invitation should be extended to the Director, DSS, Osogbo. He urged all parties not to waste time as the panel has limited time to conclude investigations. He adjourned sitting till Wednesday.

Rauf Fawale, ages 35, was said to have attended a birthday party hosted by his colleague on January 21, 2021 when a fight broke out. The party was held at Riverside, a club in Osogbo by another police officer identified as Inspector Modinat Badmus.

It was gathered that the fight was between three DSS officials, who were also attending the party, and some guests.

Fawale was said to have intervened before he was beaten mercilessly and brutalised. The officer, attached to the Dada Estate Police Division in Osogbo, later died after battling with his life at the hospital.