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FG Undecided on Alamieyeseigha

Posted by From George Oji and Lillian Okenwa in Abuja and John Iwori in Yenagoa on 2005/12/14 | Views: 285 |

FG Undecided on Alamieyeseigha


The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), yesterday said the Federal Government was yet to decide the fate of the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieye-seigha, who was removed from office last Friday, explaining that government was still evaluating several options that were available to it.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), yesterday said the Federal Government was yet to decide the fate of the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieye-seigha, who was removed from office last Friday, explaining that government was still evaluating several options that were available to it.

The minister spoke in Abuja during a ministerial briefing on ‘Justice Sector Reform: The Journey So Far,’ and said the Federal Government would, however, decide, very soon, on whether to extradite the impeached former governor to London where he was standing trial for alleged money laundering, or to continue his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for sundry allegations, including false declaration of assets and abuse of office.

Ojo’s clarification came just as his counterpart in the Ministry of defence, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Abuja explained the continued heavy military presence in the state despite the impeachment of Alamieyeseigha. He said the troops were being retained to beef up security in the volatile state whose top politicians have already started jostling for the vacant position of deputy governor.

The justice minister who asked Nigerians to give the Federal Government some time to sort the former governor’s matter also gave an update on a similar case involving the Plateau State Governor, Chief Joshua Dariye, and said the state House of Assembly had started looking into the allegations against the governor.

He expressed his disappointed with the slow pace of work, assuring Nigerians, however, that appropriate actions would be taken to ensure that justice was done.

Justifying the continued presence of troops in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, Kwankwanso told newsmen at a briefing on this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day that the Federal Government had the constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order in every part of the country.

The defence minister maintained that the troops’ deployment was informed by the central government’s desire to protect the lives and property of Bayelsans, explaining that National Assembly’s endorsement was not required for deployment of soldiers for internal security operations.

In the wake of commencement of impeachment proceedings against Alamieyeseigha, the Federal government had deployed over 200 troops in the state, saying it needed to secure its peace and protect citizens who were allegedly being molested by the former governor’s supporters.

Meanwhile, following the inauguration of the state former deputy governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as governor Monday, the race for his former job has commenced.

Among those tipped for the job is the former Secretary to the State Government, Senator Felix Oboro. He was the first SSG to Alamieyeseigha during his first tenure in 1999, but resigned his appointment, alleging that the governor’s close relations did not give him a free hand to perform his job.
Apart from Oboro’s closeness to the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Timi Alaibe, who is said to have a say in who becomes the deputy governor, the former SSG is from Sagbama in Bayelsa West Senatorial District, an area favoured to fill the plumb post.

Ekeremor and Sagbama Local Government Areas make up Bayelsa West Senatorial District and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has zoned the SSG slot to it.

Others also tipped to be appointed SSG, are the former gubernatorial aspirant of the defunct All People’s Party (APP), Col. Sam Inokoba (rtd), former Nigeria Consular General to Cameroon, Dr. Boladei Igali, and Assistant National Organizing Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Blessing Akpoloma.

Inokoba who has since gone into business since his retirement from the military comes from the same council with Alaibe. However Akpoloma is a close ally of Alaibe in his ambition to govern the oil and gas rich state since 2002.

As the jostle for the deputy governor’s hot up, attempts at reconciliation job appear to have begun at state House of Assembly where three of its members that sued it have withdrawn the suit they filed at a Federal High Court, sitting in Yenagoa.

The three lawmakers, Ofoni Williams (Sagbama, Constitu-ency III); Nimbofa Ayawei (Southern Ijaw, Constituency IV); and Amakiri Etebu (Kolo-kuma/Opokuma, Constituency I), had asked the court to restrain the House and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from harassing them.

Williams yesterday told THISDAY that the suit had to be withdrawn because events had overtaken it. "We are ready to work with the new governor to fast-track the development process of Bayelsa State. We need every hand on deck. This is a period for sober reflection; a time for oneness and unity of purpose. And we are very ready to join the train of sustainable and meaningful development. Only one person cannot do it. That is why we are taking this decision by withdrawing the suit", he said.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.