Bankole, Aide Alleges Death Threat

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San Francisco, June 06, (THEWILL) – The tension in the House of Representative took another dimension on Sunday when the House Speaker, Mr. Dimeji Bankole and his Media Assistant, Mr. Ebomhiana Musa said they received a death threat from yet to be identified individuals.

Bankole’s sudden removal of some House Committee Chairmen last week created a further gap between his camp and perceived opponents in the House of Representatives.

A statement from the Speaker’s office said Mr. Musa received an SMS message on his phone on Saturday from a cell phone number 0703 982 8940 threatening "You and your boss are nothing but dead bodies."

The statement in full reads: "The alleged face off in the House of Representatives between a few members and the leadership took a dangerous dimension over the weekend as the lives of the Speaker, Dimeji Bankole and that of one of his aide was threatened by some unknown person.

"The threat, which was sent through a text message on Saturday morning to the telephone of Mr. Ebomhiana Musa, the Speaker’s Special Adviser on Media read thus: ‘Mr. P.A, you & your boss are nothing but dead bodies but you will be firstly face the consequences shortly, prepare your will now’. The text message was sent through GSM No.07039828940."

"Attempts by Mr. Musa to identify the sender of the message through repeated calls to the sender’s number proved abortive as the owner of the telephone line refused to pick and subsequently switched off the telephone.

"The incident has been reported to security aides of the Speaker and relevant security agencies in Abuja while aides of the speaker have been advised to take some preventive security measures to safeguard their lives as they have no officially assigned security," the statement said.

In his bid to strengthen his hold on the House, Mr. Bankole last Thursday tinkered with the leadership of House Committees which opponents saw as a ploy to neutralize their influence in the House.

Some of those relieved of their positions include Chairman, House Committee on Inter and Intra Party Relations, Gbenga Oduwaiye; Vice Chairman, Committee on Niger Delta Gbenga Onigbogi; Vice Chairman House Committee on Housing and Habitat, Kayode Amusan; and Vice Chairman, House Committee on Anti Corruption, Asita Honourable.

Mr. Bankole also added that more changes would be announced in due course.

Also last week, the speaker was engaged in a brawl with a legislator representing Imo State, Mr. Independence Ogunewe, a member of the Nigeria First Forum which is spearheading the move to oust Bankole from his speakership position.