The arrival of the political godson of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, [Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan] in the person of Hon. Seriake Dickson to the governorship stool in Bayelsa State may have opened the flood gates to long forgotten pedestrian political mischief into the internal administration of select Local Government Area [LGA] councils – in the attempt to commandeer control of political power.
Information available to 247ureports.com obtained through competent sources in Yenagoa reveal that the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson has initiated moves to remove the LGA Chairmen of Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Ekeremor – to replace them with persons considered loyal to him – against an election conducted by appropriate electorate bodies.
In September 2009, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] under the leadership of the State Chairman, Chief Rufus Abadi, conducted PDP party primaries for the local government – where Chief Koku Gariga, Deacon Ineye Igbaifegha and Hon. Selekibena Saboh of Sagbama, Kolokuma/Opokuma and Ekeremor respectively emerged as flag bearers of the three local government areas.
Following the LGA primaries, in December 2009, the then Governor of Bayelsa State, Gov. Timipre Sylva was engaged in a misunderstanding with the PDP State Chairman which resulted to the former governor’s abandonment of the three PDP flag bearers – for other candidates. The then governor was reported to have submitted a fresh list of candidates to the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission [BISEC] on the 5th of December, 2009. Dissatisfied, the original flag bearers sought redress at the Yenagoa High Court 7 – were the presiding Judge, Justice B.M. Ugo ruled that the court lacks Jurisdiction. The matter was later appealed before an Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Appeal Court ruled in favor of the original flag bearers – of Chief Koku Gariga and 4 others on the 16th of February, 2012 – but the present governor of Bayelsa State was uncomfortable with the Court ruling. The governor allegedly used force and private security men to obstruct the implementation of the Court ruling.
The Governor, acting against the ruling, filed an appeal against the court ruling at the Supreme Court – and on December 14, 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the lower Courts in favor of Chief Koku Garigas and the 4 others – and they were then sworn-in four days later on December 18, 2012 – by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kate Abiri – as ordered by the Supreme Courts.
Having failed his attempt to stop Chief Koku Garigas and the 4 others, the Governor turned to new methods to oust the newly sworn-in Chairmen. The governor turned to the councilors while compelling one of the chairmen, Chief Koku Garigas, to drop his earlier announced council’s vice chairman. Chief Garigas refused. Garigas’ refusal resulted to an immediate notice of impeachment being served on him.
Reacting, the Vice Chairman, Hon. Perekosifa Kings sought redress at the Sagbama High Court to secure an ORDER directing the Sagbama local government council and 2 others under Suit Number SHC/2/2013 to stay action on 9th January, 2013. The case was later adjourned to Monday 4th March, 2013 for ruling.
Another Order was sought under Suit number between the Sagbama Local Government Council and 2 others as Claimant/Applicant and Hon. Napoleon Akoso and 2 others Councilors [Akoso is the Governor’s preferred candidate].
The presiding Judge, Justice E.T. Okara, after hearing from both parties, made the following orders that – Claimants on record and the defendants, agents, privies, servants, officers and the entire legislative body i.e. councilors are restrained from making any public announcement either through the electronic or print media or however so called pertaining or relating to issues involving the Sagbama Local Government Council pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit. The claimants and defendants are further restrained from holding any sitting of the council pending the hearing and determination of the motion on Notice, as there is no order as to cost. Case is adjourned to the 15th day of March, 2013 for Motion on Notice. Given at Sagbama under the seal of court and hand of the Presiding Judge this 29th day of January, 2013,” DICKSON ABOH (Assistant Litigation Officer).
Without recourse to the court order, Hon. Napoleon Akoso and some persons nonetheless have disregarded the court order – and have paraded themselves as principal officers of the legislative Arm of the council, allegedly making announcements contrary to the order. To this extent, the Sagbama High Court has issued Form 48 [Notice of Consequence of Disobedience to Order of Court] to Akoso. The Notice was dated January 25, 2013.