#EndSARS: Bayelsa Sets Up Judicial Panel

………..Gov. Diri Heads Security, Human Rights Committee

Bayelsa State 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 announced this on Wednesday shortly after the 9th State Executive Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa.

He said both committees were set up as part of his government’s commitment to meet the demands of the protesters.

The governor said the judicial panel of inquiry would investigate police brutality and allegations of rights abuse while the special security and human rights committee is to supervise and monitor the new police unit, Strategic Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) squad in the state.

The judicial panel 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 panel has six months to complete its assignment.

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.

Addressing journalists, the Commissioner for Information, Ayibaina Duba, stated that council also discussed the rising flood and concluded plans to send palliatives to affected communities beginning from those worse hit.

He assured that the government will also take long term measures to reduce the suffering of the people as a result of the flood, which is a yearly occurrence.

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