KANGAROO COMMISSION: We Stand By Our Position, Says APC Bayelsa State Chapter.

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On the 7th of March, 2019, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter, took a clear stand on the constitution of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, by the Governor of Bayelsa, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, on the reported violence that marked the Presidential and National Assembly Elections in the State.
 

According to the Chairman of the APC in Bayelsa State, Barrister Jothan Amos, the fundamental reason for the Party’s stand is simple: The constitution of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson is clearly targeted against the leadership and members of our great party. This was made clear by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson himself, who has made no attempt to conceal his visceral prejudice in his pronouncements before, during, and after the constitution of his so-called commission. To ensure that the Commission did his complete bidding, he singlehandedly hand-picked all the members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry who are loyal only to him.

Dickson’s outbursts have been hardly surprising. Neither is his kangaroo commission. As the leader of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he is a highly interested party in the polls. It is a well-known fact that he applied every machination to give his party undue advantage during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections, in undisguised attempts to circumvent the wish and mandate of the people of Bayelsa State.    

The Party’s Chairman insists that the Party has been notified of a purported invitation to the former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Professor Nelson Brambaifa and other leaders of our party to appear before it. This invitation by this partisan Commission is designed and contrived to embarrass, abuse and infringe on the fundamental rights of our members to political affiliation.

Interestly, the said invitation clearly omitted the alleged complaints or allegations made against these leaders of the Party, and is therefore a clear breach of the principle of fair hearing. It is also clear that Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson is determined to employ the commission as a tool to actualise his intention of witch hunting the leaders and members of the APC in Bayelsa State.

Dickson he says, may have carried out his threat, but, as usual, his intention to harm our people will fail.

Therefore, the APC in Bayelsa State considers the invitation to our leaders provocative and the height of irresponsibility. If Governor Dickson wants to live his life by drama, we are wise enough not to follow him to the theatre. We stand by our position of March 7, 2019. That position, for the avoidance of doubt, bears repeating:

“Dickson is a major player and beneficiary of the general elections. Yet, he is inaugurating a Commission of Inquiry. This is clearly against the rules of natural justice. A man cannot be a judge in his own case.  More than that, the general elections were federal elections governed by the Electoral Act. As a matter on the Exclusive Legislative list, the state government has no role to play. On these grounds, we reject Governor Dickson’s Judicial Commission of Inquiry.  

“Accordingly, the APC in Bayelsa State urges its members not to heed this dubious invitation, nor have anything to do with the commission. The Electoral Act has already prescribed the relevant punishment for any offence that has to do with the elections. This strange Judicial Commission of Governor Dickson is a witch-hunt with our members as the target. Under Dickson, our members have always been victims of needless, provocative and clandestine aggression.”

We will not allow it. Bayelsa State belongs to all of us.