Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Bayelsa Guber Violence: Dickson Takes Legal Measure

Following the reported violence, breach of peace and pandemonium that marred the inconclusive Bayelsa state governorship election, Governor Seriake Dickson has taken legal measures to ascertain the true nature of things.

The Punch reports that the governor on Monday, December 14, inaugurated a six-man judicial commission of inquiry to probe the violence, pandemonium and breach of peace that occurred during the gubernatorial election in the state.

It was reported that the inauguration ceremony took place at the executive council chamber of the Government House. The chairman of the panel was unveiled as Justice Margaret Akpomiemie.

She is expected to work with the likes of Brig. Gen. Bob Ake (retd.), Dr. Victoria Tekena, Mrs. Martha Akpana, Mr. Abraham Lord Ekiamene and Mr. Tamadu Abasi (counsel for the commission).

The ceremony had in attendance, the deputy governor, John Jonah, Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru; and members of his cabinet.

The governor, who explained what prompted his decision, noted that he acted within the ambit of the powers vested in him by Section 2 (1) of the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 8 Laws of Bayelsa State of Nigeria 2006.

Dickson said by virtue of that power: “I hereby constitute and appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the violence, mayhem and grave breach of the peace that occurred in parts of the state on or about the 3rd to 6th of December, 2015.

“This is the first commission of inquiry my government is setting up and that tells everyone the seriousness of the issues that the commission has to deal with.”

According to him, when he assumed officer as the state governor, his government was besieged with reports of several extra-judicial killings, cult-related killings, executions, high-profile murders on the streets of Yenagoa, the state capital.

Dickson, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) further hinted that his administration had cooperated with Bayelsans who knew what they did to curb cultism to mitigate the menace. He said before he took over power, there was no day that, there was not report of cult-related killing on the street of Yenagoa, adding that the people were counting corpses on the streets.

“But with the aggressive law enforcement policies we put in place, we were able by the grace of God to reduce all these to the barest minimum. We have reduced cultism to the extent that Bayelsa is one of the safest places to be,” he said.

Meanwhile, as the governor decided to take legal action against the mayhem the state experienced during the guber poll, the Nigerian Army has paraded nine political thugs arrested from Southern Ijaw local government during the December 5 and 6 Bayelsa state governorship election.

In a related development, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Timipre Sylva, who was a former governor of the state in a recent letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) requested that results from the Southern Ijaw local government area should be canceled and he should be declared the winner.

But, Dickson had restated his earlier stance that the PDP will emerge victorious in the yet to be scheduled Southern Ijaw local government election.