From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The government of Bayelsa State has pledged to the residents of Yenezue-Epie, especially the family of the deceased Mr Moses Akanda, that it is committed to using all available resources to ensure justice is delivered in response to the tragic event that resulted in their son’s loss.

Akanda was killed during a fracas involving some suspected cultists and officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the assurance at a meeting with the leadership of Yenezue-Epie, the deceased family, the Commissioner of Police and other stakeholders in Government House, Yenagoa.

In a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, on Tuesday, Ewhrudjakpo urged security agencies to be always thorough and professional in carrying out their duties, stressing that every life including that of a suspect remains sacred until proven guilty by a competent court of jurisdiction.

Expressing who commiserated with the family assured that no stone would be left unturned in unravelling the circumstances that led to the death of Mr Akanda.

Consequently, he directed the Commissioner of Police to ensure that investigations into the incident be concluded within one one-week timeframe for the matter to be charged to court.

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“Government is aware that our son (Moses) was unjustifiably killed. But let us give the police one week to identify the person who shot our son. The law is that, if you are going to arrest a person and the person tries to escape, you shoot below the waist and not above the waist.

“While we are waiting for the law to take its full course, I really want to appeal to all of us, particularly the bereaved family not to do anything that will make us to be unequally yoked like the killers of our son,” he said.

The Deputy Governor promised that the government would support the burial of the deceased as soon as investigations were concluded as well as take care of the immediate family, particularly the pregnant wife of the slain Moses Akanda.

He, however, cautioned youths and people of Epie Kingdom against frequent resort to street protests as a means of expressing their grievances and demands.

According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, the doors of the Governor Douye Diri-led Administration are open to receive and handle genuine complaints of communities with a view to addressing them to sustain the prevailing peace in the state.

In her remarks, the Member representing Yenagoa Constituency One in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Ayibanegiyefa Egba, described the incident as sad and provocative, noting that such shootings resulting in fatalities had become one too many in the Epie kingdom.

Hon Egba appealed for calm on the part of the bereaved family and Yenezue-Epie Community, as the government was doing everything possible to resolve the matter in the shortest time possible.