Alamieyeseigha begs for Presidential pardon, lobby's Jonathan
Disgraced former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who was convicted and jailed for corruption is currently lobbying President Goodluck Jonathan for a presidential pardon, security sources hinted pointblanknews.com.
The self-styled Governor General of Ijaw Nation, sources hinted, spends most of his week days in Abuja from where he has been seeking audience with President Jonathan with hopes of securing a presidential pardon.
Pointblanknews.com gathered that the former Bayelsa Governor has been expressing frustrations among his friends and political associates on how his status as a convict has rendered him “politically useless and ineffective.”
“You know the man is a convict and as it stands there is little or nothing he can do because of his status so the best bet for him now is to seek for a presidential pardon, that way, he can be more integrated into the main stream of political events in the country,” a source told Pointblanknews.com
According to the source “don't forget he was Mr. President's boss when he was Governor and Mr. President was his deputy and he sees himself as Mr. President's political god-father so on that basis, he believes he can get a pardon soon.”
Although sources confirm that even though President Jonathan has been informed about Alamieyeseigha's desire for a Presidential pardon, the President has decided to play down the request and watch very well so as not to send bad signals.
Mr. Alamieyeseigha siphoned millions of dollars in cash and bought an oil refinery in Ecuador along with several houses in London, California and South Africa. But he denied stealing money from the state.
The former governor of an oil-rich Nigerian state appeared in a UK court and was charged with laundering £1.8m ($3.2m) found in cash and in bank accounts.
He was originally arrested on September 15 2005 as he passed through Heathrow Airport in London. Detectives found almost £1m in cash in his west London home.
During his reign as Governor, Bayelsa State received Billions from Federal Allocations but the money never brought widespread development. It mostly paid for white elephants projects like mansions for the governor and his deputy. The 2005 budget sets aside $8.5 million to construct those two houses, along with more than $2 million for furnishings.
In 2002 the state spent more than $25 million on the governor's mansion, according to budgets on file in Yenagoa's tiny public library. The fence enclosing the two houses alone cost $5.7 million.
Bayelsa produces 30 percent of the country's oil, and with recent sky-high oil prices, the state budget this year ballooned to $560 million, compared with nearly $300 million in 2003.
On July 26, 2007, Alamieyeseigha pled guilty before a Nigerian court to six charges and was sentenced to two years in prison on each charge; however, because the sentences were set to run concurrently and the time was counted from the point of his arrest nearly two years before the sentences, his actual sentence was relatively short.
Many of his assets were also ordered to be forfeited to the Bayelsa state government. According to Alamieyeseigha, he only pled guilty due to his age and would have fought the charges had he been younger. On July 27, just hours after being taken to prison, he was released due to time already served
In December 2009, the Federal government hired a British law firm to help dispose of four expensive properties acquired by Diepreye Alamieyeseigha in London. Alamieyeseigha had bought one of these properties for £1, 750,000.00 in July 2003, paying in cash. Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha used it as his London residence, and as the registered office of Solomon and Peters Inc.
Efforts to reach the presidential spokesman, Ima Niboro, on the issue were abortive as his phone line was not going through.