Bayelsa: Dickson’s Judicial Panel Over Election Violence Diversionary-Sylva | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Bayelsa: Dickson’s Judicial Panel Over Election Violence Diversionary-Sylva

Posted: Dec 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma, Yenagoa

All Progressives Congress (APC)  governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has described as “unacceptable, unfortunate and diversionary” the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry by Governor Seriake Dickson to probe the violence that marred the state governorship election conducted by INEC on December 5 and 6, 2015.

The judicial panel has been mandated “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″.

Dickson announced the constitution of the six-member judicial commission of inquiry through a statement in Yenagoa on Friday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson.

The commission, which has seven terms of reference, is  headed by a former acting Chief Judge of Bayelsa, Margaret Akpomiemie, with Abraham Lord Ekiamene as Secretary.

Other members of the panel include Bob Ake, a retired Brigadier-General, Victoria Abah Tekena, Martha Akpana and Tamadu Abasi as counsel for the commission.

Dickson, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), relied on Section 2(1) of the Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 8 Laws of Bayelsa State of Nigeria 2006 to set up the commission.

But Sylva in a statement on Friday in Yenagoa by his media adviser, Doifie Buokoribo, stated that only a fretting governor like Dickson would hasten to set up a judicial panel of inquiry into an ongoing election in which he (the governor) is a major actor.

“It is only an inept, directionless, and nervous governor, like Dickson, that would set up a commission of inquiry into violence that marred an election that is still on-going, and one in which he is involved in as a key actor.

“What manner of justice does anyone in his right senses expect from such a commission of inquiry? The inquiry is bizarre and already biased from the onset”, the statement said.

It continued, “Justice Margaret Akpomiemie, who was made the chairman of the commission, is still nursing a grudge against Sylva for his refusal to make her Chief Judge of Bayelsa State during his tenure as governor.

“Justice Akpomiemie’s decision to accept this hatchet job offered by outgoing governor Dickson is clearly a revenge mission against Sylva. She is on a clear mission of vendetta.

“Besides, the inquiry is diversionary because Dickson and his party, Peoples Democratic Party, are principal actors in the violence orchestrated against APC leaders and supporters in an attempt to intimidate the people in areas where APC was obviously poised to win, and hand him an illusory victory.

“All Bayelsans and, indeed, Nigerians are living witnesses to the unbridled desperation displayed by Dickson and PDP during the December 5 governorship election, which he knows he cannot win. Such desperation had driven the governor and his party to the extent of importing militants from neighbouring states to attack Sylva’s campaign Director-General and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri; Sylva, and other APC leaders and supporters across the state.

“In his state of extreme anxiety, Dickson had also personally engaged in direct incitement of mayhem against APC supporters and leaders in radio announcements and statements, which stoked crisis in many parts of the state during the election and resulted in the killing and maiming of innocent Bayelsans.

“The attempt to cover up Dickson’s acts and divert attention from his violent machinations with this charade of an inquiry will not work. We will not allow ourselves to be drawn into or subjected to the hoax, which Dickson, Akpomiemie, and others are trying to play on the people of Bayelsa State. Bayelsa State belongs to us.

“The outgoing governor should not make the mistake of thinking that he can act in any way that serves his inordinate political interests because he is still in office. We are not in a banana republic.”