BAYELSA, Nigeria – The Governor Douye Diri, has inaugurated a judicial panel of inquiry into police brutality, security and human rights abuse against EndSARS protesters in the state.
Governor Diri, also commended the peaceful disposition of the youths during their protest on Wednesday while inaugurating the panels on judicial inquiry at the Executive Chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa.
OgeneAfrican learnt that Diri set up both committees last week in response to the demands of the protesters when he addressed them at the Government House penultimate weekend.
In a press release, Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as decrying the criminal aspects of the protests in parts of the country while expressing appreciation to the protesters in the state for their orderly conduct, which has ensured that the state remained peaceful and without any violent incidents.
He stated that he immediately adopted the demands of the protesters as a sign of his commitment towards a speedy resolution of the issues raised and promised to support the panels to succeed.
He charged the members to do a thorough job, noting that with the calibre of persons in the panels justice would be served.
His words: “The EndSARS protest has swept round our country. Lately, the criminal part of it was noticed. However, in our dear state, Bayelsa, the protesters have been civil, calm and very peaceful.
“During the protest, they demanded the setting up of these panels that we inaugurated today. I adopted all of their demands on behalf of the government of Bayelsa State.
“The duty that has just been bestowed on you as members requires justice, equality and your full commitment. Knowing the calibre of people in the panels, I have no doubt in my mind that you will serve justice and equity.”
The terms of reference of the panel of inquiry on police brutality are to receive cases of alleged brutality by the police and any other security agencies; evaluate the validity of the information received; and make recommendations for the compensation of victims if any.
Members of the committee are retired Justice Y.E Ogola (Chairman), Mr. Alaowei Opokuma (Secretary), retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Arthur Andaowei, representatives of civil society – Mr. Fortune Alfred and Miss Pereladei Demanche.
Others are Mr. Gosel Newman of the National Human Rights Commission and chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Samuel Numonengi.
The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, replaced Governor Diri as chairman of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee with the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Biriyai Dambo, as secretary.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Mike Okoli, the State Director of the Department of State Security, Mr. A.A. Mahmoud, Special Adviser 1 to the Governor on Security, Mr. Akpoebi Agberebi, the SA 2 on Security, Mr. Ingobiowei Awoikiega, Mr. Alaowei Opokuma, Mr. Eugene Baadom and Dr. Ayebakuro Mathew will all serve as members.
Responding on behalf of the members, the Deputy Governor, Senator Ewhrudjakpo, thanked the governor for the privilege to serve and promised that they will put in their best.