The Bayelsa Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and other Related Offences has awarded ₦21 billion to victims of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by security agents.
Naija News reports that this was disclosed by the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Young Ogola (rtd) while submitting the report to Governor Douye Diri.
Justice Ogola stated that out of the 50 petitions received by the panel, 11 police officers were recommended for prosecution, one for dismissal, four for demotion, while eight cases were struck out and two adjourned.
The chairman explained that the ₦21 billion was awarded in damages out of the 40 cases fully determined.
He stated that the amount included compensation to communities razed down by the Nigerian Army.
Receiving the report, Diri, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, thanked the panel for doing a thorough job and promised to set up a government White paper committee to look into the report with a view to implementing its recommendations.
”Although no amount of compensation can bring back some of the deceased, the compensation will ameliorate the suffering of the victims and families caused by the excesses of misguided security agents,” he said.
Diri added that “the panel was set up to get to the root of injustice, violation of human rights and the best way with which police and other security agencies in the country will discharge their duties professionally with human face.
“The issues you have raised will be looked into. The N21 billion awarded is appropriate, but for the security agencies to pay is another thing.
“We will within the limits of available resources and procedures see how these victims will get reprieve.
“While the law enforcement agencies have everyday to protect lives and property, they also have a duty to do that within the confines of responsibility and protection of human rights of all citizens,” he said.
Recall that the judicial panel was inaugurated on Oct. 28, 2020 after the #EndSars protest that rocked the nation.