By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Bayelsa government has constituted a judicial panel of inquiry as well as a special security and human rights committee in response to the demands of the #EndSARS protesters in the state
Governor Douye Diri in a state radio broadcast Wednesday night in Yenagoa said the judicial panel and security and human rights committee was constituted in response to the yearnings of the youths as articulated in the demands of the EndSARS protesters.
His words, “Bayelsa State government has decided to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate police brutality and allegations of human rights abuses and equally set up the special security and human rights committee to supervise and monitor the new tactical unit of the police Strategic Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) squad in the state.
“Accordingly, I hereby announce the following: the setting up and constitution of the judicial panel of inquiry in Bayelsa State under the authority of applicable laws of the state.
“The judicial panel of inquiry which has six months to complete its assignment is headed by Retired Justice Y.B. Ogola with Barr. Alaowei Opokuma as Secretary.
Others are A.T. Ambaowei, Mr Fortune Alfred Godson, Miss Perelade Demanche both representing civil society and Russell Newman representing the National Human Rights Commission.
Its terms of reference include “to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality and or related extra-judicial killing in Bayelsa State; evaluate evidence, draw conclusions and make findings on the validity of the complaints; and to recommend compensation and other remedial measures.”
The committee on Special Security and Human Rights is headed by Governor Diri with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Biriyai Dambo, as Secretary.
Other members are the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Mike Okoli, the State Director of State Security Services, Mr. A.A. Mahmoud, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security 1, Mr Akpoebi Agberebi, Special Adviser on Security 2, Mr. Felix Ngobiowei and Barr. Alaowei Opokuma.
Mr Eugene Baadom and Dr Mathew Ayibakuro represent the National Human Rights Commission and the #EndSARS protesters respectively.
The committee’s terms of reference is to supervise and monitor the SWAT unit and ensure that the rights of Bayelsans and residents are protected.