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Victim’s family takes military Task Force to Bayelsa panel

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• Rivers committee may extend sitting deadline
The families of a local boat driver, Bolouzimo Tulagha, who was killed by military men have taken the Joint Military Task Force code-named Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) to the Bayelsa State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality.

In a petition to the Justice Emmanuel Ogola Judicial Panel, they alleged that an operative of OPDS identified as Abdul of the Otiotio Unit of the security outfit shot Bolouzimo for alleged gun running.

The family of late Bolouzimo who hail from Agudama Community of Yenagoa Council of Bayelsa State alleged that the military officers murdered their brother in an extra-judicial manner.

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Bolouzimo was 39 years and a legitimate local boat driver before he was killed on January 13, 2017 at the Polako Community waterside in Yenagoa Council during a military security operation against suspected militants and gunrunners.

While the OPDS claimed that the security operation that led to the killing of the boat driver was carried out in the right order, his family members insisted that military operatives killed their kinsman after he surrendered by raising up his hands before he was shot.

The family claimed that the killing of their son was against the rules of engagement, which the armed forces and men of the OPDS were constrained by law to comply with.

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Also filed before the panel is a case of police brutality by one Mrs. Ebiemie Ename against one Sergeant Fustina, who she alleged used a belt to injure one of her eyes during an argument at the market on November 12, 2014.

Ebiemieme said Fustina used her belt to injure her in the eye during an argument at the market.

The Bayelsa Judicial Panel headed by retired Justice Emmanuel Ogola, however, adjourned hearing of all petitions to January 7 and January 8, 2021.

MEANWHILE, the Rivers State Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by Governor Nyesom Wike to review cases of police brutality, human rights violations and extra-judicial killings may extend its sitting by one month to enable it to finish the 171 petitions brought before it.

The Guardian learnt that the extension followed its inability to hear all the petitions brought before it within the 60 days period. Chairman of the Commission, Justice Chukwunenye Uriri (rtd.) had said the number of petitions appeared to be the highest in the country, but assured that the panel would sit daily as from 10:00a.m. to meet the deadline.

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