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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bayelsa Dep Gov, Ebebi, impeached

The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi, has been sacked by the state house of assembly. The sack is coming just 23 days after it initiated impeachment proceedings against him.
Ebebi, a two-time Speaker of the State House of Assembly, was impeached for allegedly being guilty of nine of the 10 offences listed against him. Watch out for details

The impeachment of the deputy governor was sequel to the adoption of a report of the seven-member investigative panel headed by Mr. D.C. Dewingwe. The panel, which was set up by the state Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, concluded its sitting, Wednesday, and submitted its report to the assembly for consideration.
The panel’s report had earlier been adopted through a motion moved by Mr. Franklin Otele and seconded by Mr. Alfred Egba.
Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, who moved the motion for the impeachment, said it was no longer news that 17 out the 24-member House signed an impeachment notice against the deputy governor.
He said that a resolution was passed asking the Chief Judge to constitute the panel in accordance with Section 188(10) of the 1999 Constitution, noting that the panel report indicated that the deputy governor was found guilty of all the allegations levelled against him except one.

Ebebi's offences

Part of the allegations listed against the deputy governor, as contained in the impeachment notice include:
*That Mr. Peremobowei Ebebi, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State wilfully deserted his official duties by refusing to attend, without reasonable cause, the weekly Executive Council meetings of Bayelsa State since January 2010.
*That Ebebi wilfully failed and, or refused to attend state functions without lawful excuses since February 2010.
*That Ebebi has abandoned his office and official residence since February 2010 without official leave and has deliberately neglected and refused to perform the functions for which he was elected.
*That Ebebi, in February 2009, applied for and received N29,660, 909 (twenty-nine thousand, six hundred and sixty thousand, nine hundred and nine naira) for medical treatment in Germany but he fraudulently converted the said sum as he neither travelled to Germany or refunded the said money to the state Treasury.
*That His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ebebi without regard to the dignity of his exalted office, openly fought with the then caretaker committee chairman of Ekeremor Local Government Council, Chief Ben Robert Eyorokumoh and shot him with a gun thereby causing him grievous bodily harm.
Hon. Obuebite said the deputy governor was found guilty of some of the allegations while others were proved except one_ that His Excellency, Rt. Hon Ebebi, in violation of oath of office, sponsored acts of terrorism with a view to making Bayelsa state ungovernable by recruiting gunmen who acquired and store large quantities of explosives, together with arms and ammunition, in Latik Hotel, owned by him located on INEC Road.
Accordingly, in compliance with Section 188(1_9), Mr. Obuebite moved the motion for his impeachment, which was supported by Mr. Fini Angaye and unanimously adopted by over 2/3 majority members of the House in attendance.

AC, others condemn action

In its reaction, AC described the impeachment process as a sad development for a state yearning for development.
According to State Acting Chairman of the party, Mr. Ebikibina Miriki ,“it is pathetic and sad that while other states are commissioning state-of-the-art projects, the Sylva-led administration is exercising undue strength and committing public funds on purely political matter at the expense of developmental projects.
“The impeachment saga is another conduit pipe to defraud the state at a critical moment the state is in dire need of empowerment and development.”
The group, Dream Bayelsa, yesterday, blamed the impeachment saga in the state on ego clash between Governor Timipre Sylva and his deputy, Ebebi.
Chairman of Dream Bayelsa, Mr. Amaebi Clarkson said, “The personality clash that culminated to the impeachment of Ebebi does not in any way benefit the ordinary Bayelsans. It rather further depleted our resources. Millions of funds have been expended on hiring SANs and publicity.
“We just hope the removal of Ebebi lead to improvement in the live of the ordinary man in the state.”

Memory lane

The impeached deputy governor, it would be recalled, had been a beneficiary of three impeachment plots in the past.
He was made speaker following the impeachment of the first Speaker of the assembly, Mr. Heineken Lokpobiri in 2001 but lost the position to Mr. Boyelayefa Debekeme following his return to the assembly in 2007.
When the house moved against Dekebeme in the build-up to the plot to oust former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Ebebi again turned out to be the beneficiary as he was made the speaker for the second time and was subsequently made the deputy governor to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan following the impeachment of Alamieyeseigha in 2005.

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