Bayelsa state govt. sets up a Panel to see to the demands of #EndSARS protesters

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The 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.

Gov. Douye Diri announced this in a statement on Wednesday by Mr Daniel Alabrah, his Chief Press Secretary, shortly after the 9th State Executive Council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa.

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

The governor said that the judicial panel of inquiry would investigate police brutality and allegations of rights abuse.

He added that the special security and human rights committee is to supervise and monitor the new police unit, Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) in the state.

The judicial panel is headed by Retired Justice Y.B. Ogola, with Mr Alaowei Opokuma, a legal practitioner, as its Secretary.

Others members are: A.T. Ambaowei, Mr Fortune Alfred Godson, Miss Perelade Demanche both representing the civil society organisations 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 killings 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 Gov. Diri, with the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Biriyai Dambo, as its secretary.

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Other members are: the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Mike Okoli, the State Director of State Security Services, Mr A. A. Mahmoud, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security 1, Mr Akpoebi Agberebi.

It also includes the Special Adviser on Security 2, Mr Felix Ngobiowei, a lawyer, Mr Alaowei Opokuma, while 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 the council also discussed the rising flood and concluded plans to send palliatives to affected communities beginning from those worse hit.

He assured the residents of the state that the government would also take long-term measures to reduce the suffering of the people as a result of the flood, which he said has become a yearly occurrence.

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