The Bayelsa State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and related extra judicial killings on Tuesday began sitting in Yenagoa with an assurance to adopt the principle of the rule of law and fair hearing.
In its inaugural speech, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Young Ogola (rtd) announced that the Judicial panel had so far received 18 petitions adding that it was still open for more petitions till Jan. 31, 2021.
He said the panel would investigate complaints of police brutality or extra judicial killing, evaluate and draw conclusions on validity of complaints and recommend compensation and other remedial measures.
Also Speaking, the Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, Mr. Mike Okoli, represented by the Deputy Commissioner, Operation, Mr. Aminu Alhassan, said any police personnel found culpable for extra-judicial killing in the state would be made to face the wrath of the law.
According to him, any police personnel who went out of his training and commit extra-judicial act should be held culpable by the Panel and the police.
He said the police had never asked to go into extra-judicial act and called on the Judicial Panel not to hesitate to call on the force whenever its attention was needed.
In his contribution, the Solicitor-General of the State, Preye Agadah called on the people of the state to come out and submit their petitions in order to promote quick police reforms.
“It is time to come before the panel and let the police take responsibilities for their actions and inactions.
“By these, we will be assisting the process of reforms in the Nigerian police. We don’t expect the police not to appear before the panel. When the facts are clear, the police should take responsibility,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inaugural sitting holding at the multidoor Court Hall was attended by representatives of the State Chief Judge, Justice M. A. Ayemieye, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nelson Abali and the representative of the Civil Liberty Organisation, Comrade David West. (NAN)