Diri sets up 6-member judicial panel of inquiry on Nembe-Basambiri crisis

Yenagoa—The Bayelsa State Government has set a high-powered six-member judicial panel of inquiry over the crisis in Nembe-Basambiri that led to the death of three persons from the area on the 15th of February this year.

According to the National Wire, the judicial panel is chaired by a former Chief Judge of the state, retired Justice Margaret Akpomiemie, while a representative of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Diepreye Omubo, is to serve as Secretary.

The panel also has Chief Fedude Zimughan; Dr. (Mrs) Josephine Igodo; Lady Love Amaseimogha, and a representative of the National Human Rights Commission, Bayelsa Office, Mr. Vining Nunman Goselle, as members.

Inaugurating the judicial panel of enquiry in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday, Governor Douye Diri, said their brief was to carefully look into the remote and immediate causes of the disturbances in Nembe-Basambiri that led to the February 15 killing.

Governor Diri, who was represented at the ceremony by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, said the Chairman and members of the panel were carefully chosen based on their pedigree and wealth of experience, to deliver on the critical assignment.

He noted that government was confident about the calibre of persons making up the panel, stressing that they have what it takes to diligently carry out the assignment without fear or favour to unravel the cause of the dastardly incident in the area.

Governor Diri added that his administration deemed it expedient to set up the panel as part of efforts towards restoring sustainable peace and security in the community as well as provide justice to all those who have suffered loss.

He said: “His Excellency the Governor of our state, Senator Douye Diri has directed me, by the power vested on him by the Bayelsa State Laws, to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into any disturbances in the State.

“As a result he has directed that this judicial panel of inquiry as set up, should look into the killing that took place in Nembe on the 15th of February, 2023. The citizens and families desire, deserve and need to know what was the cause of those deaths.

“We are not going to join issues with anybody, instead we are going to unearth the cause of the death and those responsible for the killings.

“This is necessary because every life is important. And like the Bible says, the loss of any soul is precious to God.

“As a state and as a responsible government, we cannot allow the killing of 3 of our youths in their prime to be swept under the carpet.”

In her acceptance remarks, the Chairman of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry, Justice Margaret Akpomiemie (Retired) noted that anything involving human life needed to be handled with extreme caution, since it also entails capital punishment.

Justice Akpomiemie, who thanked the Governor for choosing likeminded and competent persons for thel assignment, said the panel would depend on verifiable evidence through memoranda from the public to work on, in order to unravel the true cause of the killings.

She, therefore, called on members of the Opu Nembe Community and other interested parties to send in their memoranda and promised that the Panel would carry out its assignment with fairness, diligence and objectivity.

The panel was given three weeks to complete its work including submission of report of its findings to government for appropriate action.

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