Legal Nigeria

#EndSARS: Bayelsa panel orders release of teen’s corpse 10 years after

By Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Other Related Matters sitting in Yenagoa, the state capital, has ordered the release of the corpse of a 17-year-old boy, Emmanuel Victor, shot dead by a trigger-happy policeman along General Sani Abacha road in 2011.

The panel chaired by Justice Emmanuel Ogola (retd.) also awarded N5m to the bereaved mother for a proper and decent burial.

Ogola, while delivering the judgment in a petition filed by the deceased’s mother, Grace Victor, in the suit No BYS/JPI/011/2020 noted: ”There is no compensation for what was pronounced as a vicarious liability or so, as the policeman who committed the crime has already been sentenced to death.”

The panel also awarded N16m to Daniel Kokorifa, a Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) official attached to the Rivers State Command and father of a 17-year-old Innocent Kokorifa, murdered by men of the Anti-Vice Unit of the state Police Command in August 2016.

Daniel Kokorifa, who is from the Okpotowarie community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in his petition No. BYS/JPI/012/2020, had asked the panel to look into N6m incurred for the legal struggle to get justice and burial of the deceased.

Justice Ogola, however, awarded the sum of N16m in temporary compensation to the bereaved father.

The judicial panel has delivered judgment on 13 petitions received with over N40m ordered to be paid to various petitioners.

A member of the panel and Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Chapter, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, revealed that about 13 judgments had so far been delivered by the panel.

According to him, out of the judgments, two had been adjourned sine die and 10 in favour of the petitioners.

Numonengi said over N40m had been awarded by the panel in damages.