Bayelsa State Police Command is yet to inform families of the six police officers that died in last Friday’s by-election eve boat mishap off Oporoma in Southern Ijaw local Government Area.
The Bayelsa State Police Public Relations Officer, Asinim Butswat, told the magazine that the command was wrapping up investigations into the incident and would visit the families afterwards to condole with them before releasing the identity of the deceased police officers to the public.
He said all he could say for now was that two female and four male officers died in the mishap.
“We don’t want to make that known. There is a protocol. We have this rule that the families must be contacted first before we reveal their names. They are two females and four males. That is what we can give out until we contact the families and reveal their names,” Butswat said, when asked to give the identities of the deceased officers.
However one of the deceased police officers has been identified as Juliana Ezinwa, an inspector of police and a mother of three. A native of Benue State, Juliana was married to one Amaechi Ezinwa from Egbema in Rivers State. It is believed that her family has known of the tragic occurrence,even though the authorities are yet to formally inform them.
One of her neighbours, Victoria Omojefe, who said the deceased was a patient in their hospital, wondered if she and her colleagues that drowned did not wear life jackets on the trip.
Another neighbor, Nyime Chuma, who said he was Inspector Juliana’s landlord, said the deceased was “a fine police officer,” who they will all miss.