Bayelsa Impeachment: Probe Panel Summon Dep. Gov. Over Charges Of Gross Misconduct

Source: CHRIS OZOEMENA, Yenagoa -
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The Bayelsa state deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi has been summoned by the seven-man probe Panel set up to investigate the alleged offences levelled against him by eighteen members of the State House of Assembly following the impeachment notice issued him yesterday.

The panel headed by D.C. Denigwei (SAN) is asking him to appear before it on the 22nd and 23rd to explain the ten charges of gross misconduct from the House.

Though the copy of the summon could not be made available to Ukpakareports, the Chief Registrar of the High Court in the State, Mr. Iniekenimi Uzakah said “it is not proper that the document of the panel be handed out before the approval of the Chairman", even as the same document was aired repeatedly on the state radio station, Bayelsa Radio.

The Panel ,according to the statement issued and read on the radio and signed by the Chairman, D.C.Denwigwe, said “In the investigative panel of inquiry set up by the Hon. Chief Judge of Bayelsa state, Hon. Justice Kate Abiri pursuant to section 188(7) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 Hearing Notice to his Excellency Peremobowei Ebebi, deputy governor of Bayelsa state”.

“Notice is hereby given that the sitting of the above panel has been set down from 22/6/2010 to 23/6/2010 for the investigation into the allegation of gross misconducts made/leveled against you by the state House of Assembly, (a copy of which is here-to attached) at the conference Hall of Creek motel F.M.C Road, Ovom-Yenagoa, at 10.00am in the forenoon or so soon thereafter”.

“By the notice, you may attend the proceedings of the panel in person or through any counsel of your own choice to give evidence in person or through any witness. You are required to fill copies of any witness statement or document as you may deem fit, at the office of the chief registrar of the high court of Bayelsa state not later than five (5) days from the service of this notice.”

When contacted on the development, the Lead Counsel to the State Deputy Governor, Barr. Kemesuode Wodu ,said they have not received any notice from the panel and that the official position of his client,the Deputy Governor on the constitution of the probe panel and notice of summon to appear will be made very soon.

The setting up of the probe panel ,which on Monday had elicited controversy following the observed secrecy surrounding the setting up and sittings, was reportedly constituted by the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri in line with the resolution of the eighteen members of the state House of Assembly.

The members of the Probe panel include the Chairman, D.C Dewingwe (SAN ), R.N Tapre, Reverend T.Y. Emmanuel, Mrs. Lovinna Gboluseri, Barr. Ukari Oduma, Mrs. Flora Nabai Folorunsho and Mr. Jamaiyi .J William West.

Aside from the secrecy surrounding the setting up of the Seven-man probe panel and the sittings of the panel members, the source at the Chief Registrar Office said the secrecy attached to the activities of the panel was necessitated by the need for security, ”the action of the Judiciary is not to expose the members to threat and intimidation.”

It was gathered on Monday that the panel was inaugurated on the 9th of June, twenty-four hours after the eighteen members of the State Assembly passed a resolution asking the Chief Judge to set up a probe panel to investigate the ten charges under the main charge of Gross Misconduct.

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