EndSARS: Bayelsa panel condemns extrajudicial killings, backs reform of Nigeria Police


The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to look into cases of police brutality and extra-judicial killings in Bayelsa State has expressed shock at the various level of inconsistencies in the claims by the police investigative officers as it concludes sitting ‘

The panel expressed its worries after hearing fifty petitions filed against personnel of the Nigerian Police and the military in the past six months.

A total of 47 rulings were secured by various petitioners against the personnel of the Bayelsa State Command over alleged extra-judicial killings by the police, while three others were struck out by the panel for lack of diligent prosecution by the petitioners.

After its ruling on one of the last cases on Thursday, Chairman of the State Judicial Panel, Justice Emmanuel Ogola, advised the police, the persons present at the court to always be good to the people they see or live with.

He said” After six months of sitting with other members of the panel to hear and give ruling on issues related to police brutality and other cases in the state, its a pity on some of the cases we heard. One of such case is the one police officers forced a man in front of his house to jump into the river or he’ll be shot dead, even when the innocent man pleaded that he couldn’t swim and he was later found after two days floating on the water dead”

Don’t do wrong things, any wrong you do will be paid for someday, even if you don’t pay in your lifetime, your children will definitely pay for it, just always be good, he said.

In the case of the alleged extra-judicial killing of 22 years old Tarila Mabinton on 10th July 2020 while on an errand for his mother, Justice Emmanuel Ogola, in his ruling expressed shock at the inconsistency in the claims by the police investigative officers that he was shot dead under the suspicion of armed robbery.

Justice Ogola pointed out that the claims by respondents, the killer Police Inspector, Ebong Otutu and the Nigerian Police, were full of inconsistencies and contradictions.

”The Police evidence showed inconsistency on the actual scene of the killing and the crime he allegedly committed before he was shot dead in cold blood” the judge said.

Justice Ogola said, “The police has a case to answer. I have my doubt that there was actually a robbery before the victim was killed. The Supreme Court had made it clear that evidence of a party to a proceeding that is manifestly contradictory, the court must reject such evidence. And because of the inconsistency of evidence given by the police, the petitioner has proven his case.”

He later awarded the sum of N10 million to the victim’s family, N5 million to the deceased girlfriend who was pregnant and with him during the police killing and the sum of N3 million to the deceased family to organize a decent burial for him.

Justice Ogola also ordered the release of the corpse of the victim to the family.

Justice Emmanuel Ogola, during an interactive session with newsmen, threw his weight behind the calls for a detailed reform of the Nigeria Police Force and psychological evaluation necessary to ensure more civil ways of interaction with the Nigerian Public.

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