–Olawale Omoloye is a former branch chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association.
The immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Oyo Branch, Olawale Omoloye, has written to the Inspector General of Police, IG, Mohammed Abubakar, over alleged threat to his life by some police officers attached to the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Oyo Town.
He also alleged that the officers also threatened to frame him for a phantom crime should he escape the attempt on his life.
In the petition, dated November 7, and copied to the Oyo State Police Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Oyo Area Police Command, Mr. Omoloye alleged that he incurred the wrath of the police officers because he was handling pro bono cases “for indigent persons, who have lost the whereabouts of their family members, and filing applications for enforcement of their fundamental rights to liberty”.
In the petition also sent to selected journalists, he added that as part of his contributions to help decongest the prisons in his area, he often represented and secured bail for many suspects, who could not afford money being charged for their bail.
“The concerned police officers took offence and they are publicly saying that my life is not safe within the Oyo environ, or else I will no more carry on my legal practice within the Oyo town.
“They issued out a public threat not only to my life but that they are making efforts to orchestrate a crime that would be linked with me so as to tag me a criminal,” Mr. Omoloye stated in the petition.
According to the letter entitled: “Complaint of an attempt to orchestrate a crime against me, and threat to life by some police officers from Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), Ogbomoso/Oyo annexe, Durbar, Oyo- My passionate appeal to Save My Soul from the said people,” Mr. Omoloye said he represented one Barry Galadima in October this year.
Mr. Galadima was reportedly arrested and detained by the police because he is related to a suspect who allegedly purchased a motorcycle, earlier purchased with stolen money.
After spending two days (11 and 12th October) in police custody, Mr. Galadima was granted bail “on the condition that he must search for his brother and produce him, or else he would be rearrested and detained for an alleged crime he never committed,” the lawyer said in the petition.
According to Mr. Omoloye, Mr. Galadima’s case was just one of such pro bono cases he had been handling, which did not go down well with the said police officers.
The Ibadan-based lawyer urged the police inspector-general to use his office “in saving my soul from the hands of the above mentioned people. They should not see me as their enemy but a person who found himself in the vanguard of defending the entrenched fundamental rights of any citizen of Nigeria”.