By Nkasi Kolie
The Bayelsa State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police brutality and other related offences has awarded a total of N21 billion to victims of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the police and other security operatives in the state.
The panel also recommended 11 police officers for prosecution, one for dismissal, and four for demotion, while eight cases were struck out and two adjourned.
Chairman of the panel, Justice Young Ogola (retd), who stated this while submitting the panel’s final report to the Bayelsa State Government, disclosed that 50 petitions were received by the panel.
He said 40 cases were fully determined and the N21billion included compensation for communities razed down by the Nigerian Army.
Governor Douye Diri, while receiving the report, thanked the Committee and promised to set up a white paper committee to look into the report with a view to implementing its recommendations.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that the government would look for ways to bring relief to the victims and families within available resources.
He said although no amount of compensation could bring back the deceased, it would only assist in ameliorating the suffering of the victims and families caused by the excesses of misguided security agents.
While acknowledging the enormous task of the security agencies to secure lives and property, Senator Diri called on security personnel to enforce the law within the confines of the law.