BAYELSA DEP GOV. TO RESIGN, AS LAWMAKERS DEFEND IMPEACHMENT PLOT
Embattled Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi, is negotiating his resignation to avoid possible arrest and prosecution. Ebebi's whose face-off with Governor Timipre Sylva had provoked an impeachment notice by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly was given a cold shoulder by the Presidency, National Assembly members and top government officials from the state when he ran to them for help in Abuja.
Sources said seeing the handwriting on the wall with the odds against him, he had decided to throw in the towel but only when he had the assurance that nothing would happen to him after his resignation. Ebebi, who is said to be dejected over the development, had decided to keep his plans of resignation close to his chest until the coast is clear for him to do so without hitches.
His strategy, sources told Daily Sun, might not be unconnected to plans of his opponents to compile corruption allegations against him for him to be arrested and prosecuted after his impeachment.
Already, the House of Assembly had listed in the impeachment notice an allegation that he fraudulently diverted over N29 million meant for medical trips abroad.
Meanwhile, the House of Assembly had urged the public to look at the merit of the impeachment notice served on Ebebi rather than rush to judgment and blamed the lawmakers.
The Civil Liberty Organization (CLO) and a pressure group, Dream Bayelsa had queried the motive for the impeachment notice, arguing that the lawmakers had been financially induced to the tune of N20 million each before they penned their signatures to the impeachment notice.
But the House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr Benson Komobowei, in an interview explained that the House did not need the promptings of the governor to serve an impeachment notice on Ebebi.
According to him, the House had observed the misunderstanding between Ebebi and Sylva and come to the conclusion that the former had betrayed his oath of office. Komobowei explained that no reasonable House of Assembly would allow the situation to degenerate beyond the level it has come without moving to remove Ebebi.
'The public should look at the issues raised in the impeachment notice. We have been accused of financial inducement but how can someone bring money because of impeachment. We acted because we had to act. Look at the bomb blasts, we do not need this in Bayelsa,' he said. Komobowei said serving an impeachment notice on Ebebi does not mean he had been impeached because there was a provision in the constitution that guarantees him the right to defend himself personally or through his legal representatives.
He assured that the House was committed to the rule of law and would ensure that the process of impeachment follows due process.
Komobowei also said the House was not in any way afraid to perform his constitutional duty and would continue to sit even as the impeachment process continues.