October 4, 2023

The Coordinator of the Bayelsa Office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Eugene Baadom, has accepted the report of the panel set up last month to unravel the cause of the death of one Mr Samuel Okoba from Ovom Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.

According to the NHRC, the panel report has been reviewed and handed a a clean bill of health and called for the prompt release of Okoba’s body for burial.

The report of the panel, which was presented to the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo in Government House, Yenagoa on Thursday by the Vice Chancellor of Bayelsa Medical University and Chairman of the Panel, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu that the autopsy carried out on Samuel’s body indicated that the 17-year-old youth died as a result of bleeding from a cut on one of the major arteries on his neck.

The report stressed that the injury was not connected with gunshot, thereby absolving the police of complicity in the death of Mr Okoba, which is contrary to earlier reports and speculations that greeted the March 18, 2021 incident.

He explained that the process was transparent as representatives comprising the deceased’s family, Ovom Community, government, the police and human rights organizations witnessed all aspects of the autopsy

“There is bleeding into the soft tissue of the left side of the neck beneath a transverse laceration.The reason is because the laceration cut one of the major vessels on the neck and he started bleeding outside”.

“Because we were dealing with a probable gunshot wound, we did an X-ray of the whole bones of the body. But we did not see any metal in the bones . In conclusion, the anatomical findings showed he was severely pale. The cause of the death from what we found is that he bled to death from the cut into a major vessel.”

Responding, Senator Ewhrudjakpo, expressed sadness over the unfortunate passing of young Okoba, noting that government deliberately insisted on the involvement of all parties for truth and justice to prevail.

The Deputy Governor, who appreciated the Okoba family and Ovom Community for their show of what he described as rational understanding, promised that government would look into their requests including the release of the corpse for burial.

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