Dickson inaugurates panel on electoral violence in Bayelsa
NEWS DIGEST–The Bayelsa Government has inaugurated a six-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the electoral violence that characterised the presidential and National Assembly elections in parts of the state.
Daniel Alabra, Special Adviser to Bayelsa Governor on Public Affairs, said in a statement on Thursday in Yenagoa that Governor Seriake Dickson constituted the judicial commission of inquiry on Wednesday.
Alabra said that the panel would identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the violence during the elections in some parts of the state.
The chairman of the commission is Justice Inieakadi Eradiri, while Dr. Richard Ogbe will serve as the Secretary.
Mrs. Felicia Olisah, a retired Deputy Commissioner of Police, is a member.
Other members are Churchere Komonibo, a retired Chief Superintendent of Police; and Archbishop Jacob Akpiri; while Prof. Festus Emiri is counsel to the commission
Swearing in the members in Government House, Yenagoa, Governor Dickson said the commission was set up in line with the provisions of Section 2 (1) of the Commission of Inquiry Laws of Bayelsa State.
Dickson described the crisis that marred the election in parts of the state as unfortunate and expressed his determination to bring the perpetrators to book.
He said that the panel would identify the perpetrators and sponsors of the violence and determine the number and identity of persons that were injured or killed during the elections.
According to him, the commission has also been mandated to ascertain the roles played by the perpetrators and sponsors of the violence that led to loss of lives and destruction of property.
Other terms of reference for the commission were to determine the roles played by security agencies and their officers and men that were involved in the violence.
The commission is also to identify the institutions and persons that could have prevented the crisis, make necessary recommendations and submit its report within 14 days of its first sitting.
Dickson urged observers and those who had complaints, video clips, recordings and any other vital information to forward them to the judicial panel.
“I know that people are aggrieved because impostors that our people never gave their mandate have been announced as if they were elected.
“I use this opportunity to call for peace. Do not take the laws into your hands because two wrongs do not make a right.
“Let me assure you all that the God of justice shall arise and this darkness, evil and temptation will not last for too long.
“The charade in Nembe-Bassambiri and Constituency 4 in Southern Ijaw will not stand. And the very provocative invasion of our peaceful people by the military is condemnable.
“Let me make it clear that the commission will not go into the election but will only concern itself with the issues leading to the breakdown of law and order,” Dickson said.