Bayelsa: Dirty Corruption Probe Exonerates Dickson’s Men Indicts Others

Gov Dickson

The new administration of Bayelsa State under the leadership of Governor Dickson may have begun the unveiling of what its leadership mantra will resemble in the coming months and years. Information available to 247ureports.com through sources inside the Bayelsa State Government House indicates that the actions of the Governor’s men over a recent purported probe of the Local Government Area [LGA] Chairman by the members of the State Assembly showcases markings of an early warning/signal of a corrupt administration.

According to the information received, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Barrister Dickson, following his accession to the seat of governor instructed the members of the State Assembly loyal to him to initiate a probe of the eight [8] LGA Chairmen – against an alleged financial mismanagement. As understood, the probe was to serve as an avenue to remove the Chairmen and to replace them with other persons that will be loyal to the Governor. The call for the initiation of the probe was made on the day the Governor sworn-in the LGA Service Commission and State Assembly Service Commission.

The probe was launched on July 18, 2012 by the State Assembly – following invitation of the eight LGA Chairman to the State Assembly chambers on July 17, 2012 – were asked to go back and return on July 18, 2012 because they [Chairman] did not come to the State Assembly Chambers with the proper documents. The Chairmen left and returned on July 18, 2012 as instructed. Present on that day were – Brass LGA Hon. Ngor Sylva; Ekeremor LGA Hon. Eddy Julius; K/Opokuma LGA Hon. Ebiyirin Itubo; Nembe LGA Hon. Waribugo Sylva; Ogbia LGA Hon. Samuel Boy; Sagbama LGA Hon. Pere Peretu; S/ Ijaw LGA Hon. Tiwei orunimigha; Yenagoa LGA Hon. Michael Ogbolosingha.

While the probe exercise uncovered gross mismanagement of public funds and misappropriation of LGA funds, the execution of the probe by the State Assembly in tandem with the Governor’s men depicted foul play. On the first level, the lawmakers having completed their probe and uncovered financial crimes worthy of prosecution – was approached by the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Bayelsa State concerning the Yenogua LGA Chairman. The chief of staff was reported to lobby for the removal of the Yenogua LGA Chairman from the list of indicted LGA Chairmen. The Chief of Staff to the State Government of Bayelsa who is originally from Yenogua LGA had played a prominent role towards the selection of Hon. Michael Ogbolosingha as the Yenogua Chairman – when the Chief of Staff had served as a Commissioner for Agriculture during the previous administration.

The State Assembly ascended to the demands of the Chief of Staff and removed the name of the Yenogua LGA Chairman from the list. But a source close to the lawmaker noted that the probe indicted the Chairman for bloating the LGA staff with ghost workers to the tuned equivalent to N13million monthly. The Yenogua LGA Chairman was also discovered to have served as the Tenders Board Chairman at the Yenogua LGA – thus breaching the tenets of due process and transparency.

With the name of the Yenogua LGA Chairman removed from the list of indicted LGA Chairman, the State Assembly presented the report of the probe to the desk of the Governor for appropriate executive actions. According to our source, only five [5] out of the eight [8] LGA Chairmen remained on the list about presented to the Governor. Only Chairmen of Ogbia, South Ijaw, Sabama, Brass and Ekeremo LGA remained on the list.

The K/Opokuma LGA Chairman, Hon. Ebiyirin Itubo who was found to have spent N7million that he could not account for – while under cross examination by the lawmakers – was dropped from the list of indicted LGA Chairmen. The Chairman was reported to have spent the N7million on Hotel stays

Raising hell over the indicted Chairman is the political godfather of the Governor, Chief Ejitola, – and a good friend of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan. Chief Ejitola originates from Ogbia LGA – and is reportedly a feared personality in the political sphere of Bayelsa State. He is said to be unhappy with the indictment of his LGA Chairman in the probe report submitted to the Governor.

Meanwhile, the State Assembly is faced with its own share of internal wrangling that may forestall the validity of the said probe report submitted to the Governor. The probe report as submitted requires 2/3 of the members of the State Assembly to sign the probe report to make the recommendations of the report actionable.  Only 15 members out of the 24members were able to sign the said document – 16 members are required to sign.

Nonetheless, the Governor upon his return from Abuja to Bayelsa State late yesterday proceeded to act on the probe report. At 11pm, yesterday night, August 8, 2012, the Governor sacked the 5 LGA Chairmen an swore in the Vice Chairmen as the new LGA Chairmen.

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