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I’m under pressure — Bayelsa CJ • We won’t be deterred — Panel chairman

Posted by Soni Daniel and Bisi Olaniyi, Yenagoa on 2005/12/06 | Views: 421 |

I’m under pressure — Bayelsa CJ • We won’t be deterred — Panel chairman


Bayelsa State Chief Judge, Justice Emmanuel Igoniwari, on Monday vowed not to buckle under pressure as he inaugurated a panel to investigate allegations of misconduct levelled against the Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

Bayelsa State Chief Judge, Justice Emmanuel Igoniwari, on Monday vowed not to buckle under pressure as he inaugurated a panel to investigate allegations of misconduct levelled against the Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

Addressing the seven-member panel in Yenagoa, Igoniwari said, “I was under unbelievable pressures from all corners. It was like a ‘tsunami.” Even after knowing that my duty was only to set up a panel and drop out, it did not stop.

“Requests turned to threats and this was compounded by the wicked or evil rumours. Some of the rumours and requests were even to the effect that a list of panel members would be drawn up for me to sign and the list would be taken away from me.

“Further, that I might be whisked away and forced to sign a list, if I continued to say no to offers or requests. I am happy to state that these rumours and pressures have not manifested or materialised.”

Apparently to ward off any threat to the inauguration of the panel, whose report would determine the fate of the embattled governor, security was beefed up around the chief judge’s court, venue of the ceremony, by a contingent of soldiers and riot policemen.

The chief judge warned the panelists, led by a Federal Government nominee to the recently-concluded National Political Reform Conference, Mr. David Serena-Dokubo Spiff, not to bow to pressure or accept gratification in the discharge of the assignment.

Members of the panel are: the state’s immediate past Commissioner for Information, Mr. Benson Agadaga; the Yenagoa branch Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Collins Boleigha; and the National President of National Council of Women Societies, Dr. Bolere Ketebu-Nwokafor.

Others are: Wing Commander Gladys Brisibe (rtd.), Col. Rufus Apulu (rtd.) and Mrs. Mercy Alagoa.

In a speech on behalf of the panel members, Spiff said, “Do not attempt to deter us, for we shall be unshaken and unshakeable and bow to no pressure from anybody, institution, group, authority or government, no matter how highly placed.”

The PUNCH, Tuesday, December 06, 2005

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