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Bayelsa: Loyalists Pit Gov. Diri Against Deputy, As Impeachment Plot Looms

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Hours after the Supreme Court dismissed six appeals that sought to nullify the election of Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Douye Diri, his political associates have resumed plans to set-up Deputy governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor, and prepare grounds for his impeachment.

Checks revealed that no sooner than the Supreme Court nullified the declaration of All Progressives’ Congress (APC)’s David Lyon as governor-elect in February than antagonists of the deputy governor began pushing for his removal.

Checks further revealed that some of the antagonists had advised against moving “too soon” against Ewhrudjakpor then in the light of anticipated legal hurdles ahead, and the political backlash it could generate.

In the build up to the Nov 16, 2019 Bayelsa governorship election, the unassuming current deputy governor came under severe coordinated media attacks from elements from the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) and the opposition who were uncomfortable with him being Diri’s running mate.

Some interest groups had at the time sued for caution in the light of the huge political contest between the PDP and formidable APC.

Shortly after APC’s David Lyon was declared governor-elect in an election largely believed to have been rigged on favour of APC, calm returned to the PDP camp as it’s deputy governorship candidate Senator Ewhrudjakpor once again, became the rallying point of the legal battle to upturn the APC “victory”.

An experienced lawyer and politician, Ewrudjakpor soon found himself shouldering the responsibility of instituting court cases, especially the one that eventually led to the disqualification of the APC candidate David Lyon and his running mate, Senator Degi.

Thereafter, old fault lines began to emerge with the same elements renewing demands that the newly sworn-in deputy governor be removed to placate their political interests.

It is also gathered that Diri loyalists there are several underground moves by some of the same members of Governor Diri’s cabinet, the opposition APC, and opposition PDP to cause a major rift between the Governor and his deputy setting the stage for the impeachment of the deputy governor.

The pressure group routing for the deputy governor’s removal have reportedly earmarked a current serving two-term member of the House of Assembly from Ogbia as his replacement. Alternatively, they want any other person from Bayelsa East senatorial district.

According to very reliable sources, part of the plan is for the current two-term serving House of Assembly member from Ogbia who has been tapped to replace the current deputy governo to be used by very high ranking political leaders from Ogbia and Bayelsa East, and some loyalists of Gov Diri, to create bad blood between Diri and his deputy to the point that they would no longer be able to work together.

According to the plan, there will be several syndicate publications in the media alleging that the deputy governor is not only too overbearing, but is being backed by the immediate past governor Seriake Dickson, to dislodge Governor Diri.

Emissaries are reportedly being recruited to meet Governor Diri immediately after Wednesday’s Supreme Court judgement, to immediately take steps to remove his deputy “if he wants to enjoy the support of the Bayelsa East senatorial district for reelection purposes.”

Another plan, added the source, is to induce members of the House of Assembly with humongous sums of US dollars to ensure that the deputy governor is impeached on the strength of frivolous allegations.

The said two-term lawmaker from Ogbia has already reportedly assured of his commitment to penetrating his colleagues in the House of Assembly once the money is provided.

Noted a federal lawmaker from the state: “Even though the immediate plan is to impeach the deputy governor and create a rift between Gov Diri and his immediate predecessor. former Governor Dickson who foisted Diri and his deputy on Bayelsans in the face of serious opposition from top politicians specially from Bayelsa East, the ultimate aim would be to make Diri vulnerable politically and easy to impeach and replaced by the same Ogbia lawmaker.”Added the source, “In fact, it is going to be replay of the Diepreye Alamieyeseigha– Goodluck Jonathan scenario once the current deputy governor Senator Lawrence Ewrudjakpor is taken out of the equation.

“It is common knowledge that Bayelsa East district have not been comfortable as they failed to produce the governor or the deputy in the current dispensation, the first time since 1999. Having realized that the current deputy governor would be difficult to use to impeach Governor Diri, who is largely seen as Dickson’s stooge, they’ve decided to, first, impeach the deputy governor before coming for Diri”, opined the lawmaker.

He added, “Some unsuspecting Diri loyalists who don’t understand the larger objective appear to be falling for the bait that the deputy governor should be removed from office. This, in the ultimate, will harm their boss Diri.

“I don’t want to believe that Governor Diri is this naive. However, it is important for him to be careful of the antics of these latter day advisers who left him and the same deputy to join David Lyon shortly before God used the Supreme Court to change everything for good,” he declared.

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Senator Elisha Abbo Defects To APC , Says He’s Joining Buhari ‘To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream’

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The Senator who is representing Adamawa North in the Senate announced his defection in a letter addressed to the House.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan read the letter during Wednesday’s plenary session.

In the letter, Senator Abbo explained that his decision to defect to the APC is because of the mismanagement of the PDP in Adamawa state by Governor Umaru Fintiri. Abbo also said He’s Joining Buhari ‘To Build Nigeria Of Our Dream’

Senator Abbo has been in the news for assaulting a woman in an adult toy shop in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Maitama, earlier in September, awarded N50 million damages against Senator Abbo, to be paid as compensation to Osimibibra Warmate, a female attendant at a sex-toy shop, whom he assaulted.

Justice Samira Bature gave the order in her judgment on the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Warmate against the senator.

Earlier on July 3, 2019, the lawmaker was caught on camera physically assaulting a woman in Abuja, two months after he allegedly committed the act.

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CCTV Footage Has Vindicated Nigerian Army Of Complicity In Alleged Lekki Massacre – Human Rights Lawyer

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A human rights lawyer, Werigbelegha Zinaka has stated that the Nigerian Army has been vindicated of any wrong doing at the Lekki Tollgate incidence. He said this in an interaction with journalists on the sides at the ongoing hearing of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution in Lagos.

The human rights lawyer who serves as an attorney for the International Human Rights Association at the panel also stated that from the CCTV footage that was analyzed, it indeed vindicates the Nigerian Army of any wrongdoing.

“The Judicial Panel of Inquiry has been very engaging with quite some revelations that indeed put issues in proper perspective. Worthy of mention is the revelation from the CCTV footage at the Lekki Tollgate that indeed explained the level of involvement of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate.”

“All concerned parties viewed the CCTV footage, and I wish to state that it was clear that the consensus is that the Nigerian Army did not commit massacre as wildly alleged in some certain quarters in the country.”

He further stated that with the various presentations at the panel, there had not been any evidence to substantiate the fact that any life was lost at the Lekki Tollgate.

“This panel has been very meticulous in its analysis, and I can tell you that serious business is going on here. I can also say from all the submissions and reviews; there has not been any evidence to back the claims the lives were lost at the Lekki Tollgate incidence and most especially from the CCTV footage that was reviewed.”

“So it remains an illusion that the Nigerian Army committed massacre at the Lekki Tollgate. This is understandable given the role of fake news in the whole scenario. And ironically, those that were spreading all sorts from their comfort zones have refused to come to the panel to substantiate their claims.”

He further faulted the recently released report by the Cable News Network (CNN) stating that it was done in bad faith and not a reflection of the issues on the ground.

“The CNN report was highly misleading and with an ulterior motive in my candid opinion. It was obvious that the target of the report was the Nigerian Army, and it was very poor in its execution. It was more of a judgmental pronouncement than a news report, and I am not aware that CNN is an arbiter of the law. This much they must be aware of and the need for some level circumspection in analysis of issues of this nature.”

“We must call a spade a spade and understand that what the CNN attempted to do in its report was to influence the outcome of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army. The backlash the report has received indeed says it all. And I believe that CNN must have learnt its lessons.”

It would be recalled that in the aftermath of the escalation of violence at the EndSARS protests, the Lagos State Government inaugurated a 7-member Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in the State.

Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi chairs the panel; other members are Mr Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society); Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ms Patience Udoh, representing the Civil Society; Mr Segun Awosanya, Human Rights Activist, Mrs Olutoyin, Odusanya, Director, Citizens Mediation Center, as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.

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Discard CNN Report On Lekki Shootings Targeted At Demonising Nigeria’s Military – Group

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The March4Nigeria movement has urged Nigerians and the international community to disregard CNN’s report on the Lekki shooting in Lagos, noting that it is targeted at demonising the Nigerian military.

The group said after a careful scrutiny of the report, it concluded that CNN has joined campaign of calumny against the Nigerian government as well as the military.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, Director of Publicity, Deborah Ndace said CNN was irresponsible with its report, following an already existing narrative that was in the public domain.

The March4Nigeria movement, however, demanded an unreserved apology from the American news channel to the federal government, the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian people.

While calling on Nigerians to ignore CNN, the group urged the international community to question its credibility as an organisation for engaging in acts that are divisive and promote violence.

Read full statement below:

You are all welcome to this press conference meant to put issues in proper perspectives with regards to the recently released report by the Cable News Network (CNN) with regards to the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the EndSARS protest at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos Nigeria.

We wish to state that after careful scrutiny of the report, it was identified that it was indeed an attempt to demonize the Nigerian Army whose only offence was standing on the side of democracy by averting what was clearly a coup attempt at our nascent democracy.

The CNN in its report was tactically evasive in addressing the issues, but instead, it elected to tow the dishonorable path of making wild goose allegations against the Nigerian Army without the necessary facts to back their claims.

The March4Nigeria is not only alarmed that an organization that has built a reputation of responsible journalism over decades would throw caution into the wind in furtherance of the agenda of a select few at the detriment of millions of people that rely on it for news reportage across the globe.

The focus of the CNN on Nigeria is not a coincidence, but rather a well-orchestrated plot by some very powerful interest hell-bent on truncating the democratic experience in Nigeria and to give international credence to their nefarious plot, the likes of the CNN was coopted to lead this campaign of calumny against the government of Nigeria, as well as the Nigerian Military.

This is nothing short of irresponsible journalism that can only be perpetuated by a leading proponent of Fake News in the United States of America attempting to expand its antics to the African continent.

It was expected that CNN would stay true to the tenets of journalism by undertaking a thorough investigation. Instead, it relied on an already existing narrative that has already been in the public domain and gotten stale.

It is also despicable that a news medium such as the CNN would put out such half-truths with the ultimate aim of escalating issues that have received the required response from the government and other critical stakeholders in the country.

In the light of the above, the March4Nigeria is stating in unequivocal terms that the report by the CNN is indeed malicious and a great disservice to the journalism profession in all ramifications.

We are consequently aligning with the position of the federal government in demanding an unreserved apology from the CNN to the federal government, the Nigerian Army as well as the Nigerian people whose sensibilities have been insulted by the highly lopsided report.

We also wish to remind the proprietors of the CNN that Nigeria is not by any stretch of the imagination the United States of America where it has consistently attacked the administration of President Donald Trump.

The importance of the CNN tendering an unreserved apology is to correct the wrong its report has had on the psyche of members of the unsuspecting general public in Nigeria and outside the shores of Nigeria.

We are also using this medium to call on the international community to question the credibility of the CNN as an organization for engaging in acts that are divisive and promote violence as exemplified in its report on the EndSARS protest in Nigeria.

Nigerians must also be aware that the CNN is indeed acting the script of some vested interest that have been targeting our nascent democracy without success. Nigerians must, as a matter of necessity, come in one accord to condemn the CNN report in its totality.

The implication of allowing the CNN to get away with this treatise on Nigeria is that more ferocious attacks would be launched against our democracy and critical institutions such as the Nigerian Army, which would be our greatest undoing.

The exigency of time requires all hands to be on the deck in the interest of peace and sustainable development.  We must not sit and watch while the likes of the CNN demonize and rubbish the efforts of the government and the Nigerian Army in the restoration of law and order in Nigeria.

Thank you all.

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