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Panel Begins Sitting On Bayelsa Deputy Gov’s Impeachment

By CHRIS OZOEMENA, Yenagoa
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The panel set up by the Bayelsa state government to investigate the allegations of impeachment levelled against the Bayelsa state deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi on Tuesday started its sitting

The Chairman of the Panel, D.C. Dewingwe, told the counsels to the State Deputy Governor, the State House of Assembly, the State Attorney-General and media practitioners, that the panel has no hidden agenda and the members are keeping an open mind, ”the panel must not be dragged and be involved in the legal tango.”

The embattled Bayelsa State Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi, whose appearance was made in protest yesterday before the panel was carried out by his legal team led by Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) had submitted documents before the Probe Panel indicating that there were two separate processes before the High court against the Tribunal and pleaded that the panel adjourned till Friday to allow the Court decide on the issue of its competence.

But the Counsel to the State House of Assembly, Sebastine Hon (SAN) countered the plea of the State Deputy Governor and insisted that the plea should be dismissed based on the attempts by the Deputy Governor to oppose the panel in a law court and that House of Assembly has also objected to the jurisdiction of the court based on the provisions of section 188 sub section 10.

The Chairman of the Panel, D.C. Dewingwe and other members, after a thirty minutes recess, came back and turned down the plea of the Deputy Governor for an adjournment till Friday and said “the panel do not have a certified copy of the court processes against it and can not speculate on proceedings of the court. We can not presume that the proceedings of any court supersede the section 188 of the constitution. None of the decisions of the court cited by the Deputy Governor have dismissed the power of the panel.”

A member of the legal team of the State House of Assembly, Barr. Tamadu Abasi however announced to the panel that they are ready to show proof that the allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the Deputy Governor is true and backed with relevant documents.

Barr. Abasi announced that the State Assembly has about 67 witnesses to prove its case against the Deputy Governor. The witnesses that appeared for the State House of Assembly before the panel include the Deputy Speaker, Nestor Binabo, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Gideon Ekeuwe, the Chief of Staff ,Mr. Sam Ogbuku and a Police Constable.

Meanwhile, the State High Court presided over by Justice Doris Adokeme has fixed Tuesday next week for ruling on the case between the State House of Assembly and the Deputy Governor, Peremobowei Ebebi over the issue of his impeachment.

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