….back reforms in Nigerian Police Force
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to look into cases of police brutality and extra-judicial killings in Bayelsa State has concluded sitting after hearing of Fifty petitions filed against personnel of the Nigerian Police and the Military in the last six months.
A total of 47 rulings were secured by various petitioners against the personnel of the Bayelsa state command over allege cases of police extra-judicial killings, while three others were struck out by the panel for lack of diligent prosecution by the petitioners.
In one of the cases for hearing yesterday over the allege extra-judicial killing of 22 years old Tarila Mabinton in 10th July, 2020 while on an errand for his mother, the Chairman of the State Judicial Panel, 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 in constituencies and contradictions. The Police evidence showed inconsistency on the actual scene of killing and crime he committed before he was shot dead in cold blood.
According to Justice Ogola, “The police has a case to answer. I have my doubt that there was actually a 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 have proved his case.”
He later awarded the sum of N10million for the victim’s family, N5million for the deceased girl friend who was pregnant and with him during the police killing and the sum of N3million for the deceased family to organized a decent burial rite. He 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 Nigerian Police Force and psychological evaluation necessary to ensure a more civil ways of interaction with the Nigerian Public.