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Bayelsa Speaker: Our Hands Are Tied

Posted by From John Iwori in Yenagoa on 2005/11/16 | Views: 378 |

Bayelsa Speaker: Our Hands Are Tied


The new speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Pere-moboei Ebebi yesterday said the House was constrained by provisions of the 1999 constitution on what to do in the present situation in which Governor DSP Alami-eyeseigha is standing trial in London.

* To confirm Goodluck as acting governor

The new speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Pere-moboei Ebebi yesterday said the House was constrained by provisions of the 1999 constitution on what to do in the present situation in which Governor DSP Alami-eyeseigha is standing trial in London.

He, however, promised that the house would soon look into the issue of making the state deputy governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the acting governor of the state.
According to him, "we are going to regularise the position of the deputy governor very soon. Our hands are tied because of the provisions of the 1999 constitution. But we shall do something about it. We are here to work for Bayelsans and anything to facilitate it would be done promptly. We want to move ahead. We want to catch up with other parts of the country."
The impeachment of Debekeme and Foingha Monday was said to be the first phase of opposition’s agenda to unseat Governor Alami-eyeseigha.

The second phase, which would be executed on or before December 8, 2005, hearing date of Alamie-yeseigha’s case in London would entail the presentation of a motion on the floor of the House to impeach the governor from office.

Impeccable sources said one of the reasons for the impeachment of Debekeme and Foingha was that they were opposed to the removal of Alamieyeseigha who in 2002 was crowned the Governor-General of Ijaw nation by Abonema Council of Chiefs in Akukutoru Local Governments Area of Rivers State.

Ebebi, however, stated that it is not true that 16 members of the House have already signed an impeachment motion to impeach Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha currently standing trial in London for alleged money laundery.
The two-time elected speaker in his first interaction with newsmen at Government House, Yenagoa maintained that the impeachment of the governor is not yet on what he called "the table of the House".

"We are yet to consider the impeachment of the governor. It is not on the table now. We have not received any EFCC reports on the allegations against him. All the allegations against Alamieyeseigha are on the pages of newspapers and magazines.

We need to be in possession of them and make them the documents of the House before we can now look into them. We cannot do anything based on newspaper reports.

"Nigeria is a country where allegations are thrown about. Though the EFCC have questioned some members of the House, but it has not come up with anything. And as long as it has not come up with anything, the allegations against Alamieyeseigha remain mere allegations", he said.

Ebebi, a lawyer by profession, denied that huge sum of money exchanged hands to effect the recent changes in the leadership of the House. He maintained that the House formed a quorum when the impeachment motion was moved.
The speaker promised to run what he called an "open door policy" even as he expressed regret that newsmen were not allowed into the chambers during the sitting of the House.

He expressed dismay that the absence of the governor has impacted negatively on governance in the state.

Meanwhile, hordes of armed mobile policemen have taken over the entire Assembly Complex, located in Amarata, Yenagoa.

Besides the presence of the armed mobile policemen within and outside the Assembly Complex, a military truck was permanently parked at the main gate of the premises. While some persons were turned back at the main entrance, the few ones allowed in were rigorously searched with sophiscated equipment before they were permitted to go in.

The entire complex was also a ghost of itself as the parking lot was virtually empty. No official car of the lawmakers was seen parked, just as workers were not seen on their duty post, when THISDAY visited the complex yesterday.
Efforts to reach Debekeme or Foingha proved abortive as their telephone numbers were not going through.

Though no reason was given for the presence of policemen mounting sentry at the Assembly Complex, it was gathered that it was meant to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

It was further learnt that the new leadership of the Assembly would convene a session later this week where a motion to make the state deputy governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan the Acting Governor of the state would be moved.


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