Judicial panel of inquiry on police brutality and extra-judicial killings in Bayelsa State has concluded sitting after hearing 50 petitions filed against personnel of the Nigeria Police and the military.
A total of 47 rulings were secured by various petitioners against the security agents in the state for extra-judicial killings while three were struck out by the panel for lack of diligent prosecution.
In one of the cases for hearing yesterday over the alleged extra-judicial killing of 22-year-old Tarila Mabinton on 10th July, 2020 while on an errand for his mother, the chairman of the 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 the respondents, the killer police inspector, Ebong Otutu and the Nigerian Police, were full of inconsistencies and contradictions, adding that 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 have a case to answer.
I have my doubt that there was actually 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 has proved his case.”
He awarded the sum of N10million for the victim’s family, N5million for the deceased girl friend who was pregnant and with him during the killing and N3million for the deceased family to organise a decent burial rite. He also ordered the release of the corpse of the victim to the family.