Confusion As Bayelsa Assembly Faction Announce Impeachment Of Speaker

There is confusion over the leadership of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, following the controversial impeachment of the Speaker, Tonye Isenah.

The plenary was disrupted with sporadic gunshots on Monday morning, a situation which led the Speaker to adjourn the plenary indefinitely.

Some members of the assembly, however, chased journalists covering the House of Assembly away and met behind closed doors.

READ ALSO: Sporadic Gunshots At Bayelsa Assembly Disrupts Plenary

Following their meeting, they announced that they have impeached the Speaker, Mr Isenah and replaced him with a lawmaker representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 2, Monday Obolo.

Tonye Isenah in reaction to his alleged impeachment told Channels Television that the sitting after the adjournment is illegality.

He added that he remains the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

Bayelsa Assembly Urges More Security Presence At Boundary Communities

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has taken another step to stop the lingering boundary dispute between the people of Nembe in the state and Kalabari in Rivers state.

The State Assembly passed a two point resolution which urged the state government through relevant ministries, department and agencies to work closely with members of the National Assembly from the area and the National Boundary Commission to quickly resolve the boundary disputes.

The lawmakers also directed the executive arm to mobilise adequate security to the Oluasiri area of Nembe and adjoining riverine communities in the area to protect the people from frequent attacks by armed men from Rivers State.

The resolutions followed a motion raised by Mr. Iniyobiyo Obiene representing Nembe constituency 3 in the State House of Assembly and unanimously adopted by the lawmakers as read out by the Speaker, Mr Konbowei Friday Benson.

Mr. Obiene, had told his colleagues that the people in the two oil-bearing communities, Oluasiri in Nembe and Soku in Kalabari were fully aware of the boundary and wondered why the Kalabari people would want to step out of the boundary.

“Given the fact that Oluasiri, Robert Kiri, Ekulama I, Ekulama II, and their environs are border communities cum settlements that bids the eastern boundary of Bayelsa state, it is true that these communities are in the volatile area prone to threats and attacks from their Rivers state neighbours even in the presence of security men deployed to the area by their government.

“Regrettably, our government has not been able to send security personnel to the area to ensure protection of lives and property of our people living there.

“This is evident in the kidnapping of one Charles Demi along Oluasuri waterways in December 2012, the destruction and burning of Ijaw-Kiri in the same year, the attack on one Mr.Amaebite Obiene and his colleagues at Sand-Sand village among others”, Obiene stated.

The lawmaker who said the hostilities in the disputed area had led to waste of lives, expressed worry that residents live in fear of intimidation and frequent harassment.
According to him, “Recently during the Phase II of the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC), in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, there were serious security threats.

“As the exercise proceeded to our border communities with Rivers state such as Robert Kiri, Belema I, Belema II, Ekulama I, Ekulama II, Ijaw-Kiri and Soku in the Oluasiri axis, there were attacks on our people which led to serious setbacks on our part. Mr. Speaker, if nothing is done urgently, the ugly scenario will replay itself in the census proper, scheduled to take place in 2018”.

In another development, the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Konbowei Benson, has reacted to media reports that the House did not hold a public hearing as well as consult widely before passing the State Education Tax bill recently signed into law by Governor Seriake Dickson.

The Speaker said the relevant committees held public hearings and reached out to key stakeholders to get their inputs into the bill.

He said the education tax law was a good thing to have happened to the state in the quest to protect the future of millions of Bayelsa youths.

The Speaker insisted that the lawmakers were working for the collective interest of the state and would continue to support other arms of government to fast track development in the state.

Bayelsa Lawmakers Advocate Retraining Of Security Personnel

Police, lawmakers, Bayelsa, security personnel, extra-judicial killlingThe Bayelsa State House of Assembly has called for the retraining of personnel across the different security agencies with emphasis on the Nigeria Police.

The lawmakers stressed the need for the training, following the case of an alleged extra-judicial killing in the Bayelsa State, south-south Nigeria.

Chief Whip of the House of Assembly, Tonye Isenah and the House Committee Chairman on Security, Colonel Bernard Kemebai (Rtd), described the incident as regrettable.

They assured the public of their commitment to ensuring that justice is served while advocating for the retraining of security personnel.

The incident centered on the death a middle-aged carpenter, Anayo and four-year-old Godsgift Odoki who were hit by a stray bullet during a gun battle between the Police and some suspected cultists in Ekeki community in Yenagoa, the state’s capital.

The mishap led to a protest by Obuan youths from Epie-Atissa Kingdom who took to the streets to demand for justice.

They said that the spate of extra-judicial killing in Bayelsa State was worrisome and needed to be stopped.

The youths also took their petition to the Government House where the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Mr Boma Spirojack, consoled them, saying such unfortunate incidents were usually unavoidable in any exchange of gunfire.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Police Command has since issued a statement informing the public of the detention of the sergeant who allegedly fired the deadly shot.

The command says investigation was still ongoing while no statement was made regarding the possible arrest of any of the cultists.

Bayelsa State Swears In New Speaker

Bayelsa StateRt. Hon Kombowei Benson has been sworn in as the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

Benson, who occupied the position as Speaker of the House, was sacked by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over election petition appeal by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebifaghe Orunimighe.

He got re-elected during the March 5 rerun poll to represent Southern Ijaw constituency 4 in the House.

Having received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Yenagoa, along with Hon Ogbere Micheal representing Ekeremor constituency 3, they were first readmitted into the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

One of the lawmakers, Hon Tonye Isenah, then moved the motion for Kombowei Benson to be made the Speaker of the House and a unanimous voice vote of ‘yes’ sealed the election.

Speaking with journalists immediately after taking his oath to serve as Speaker of the House, Mr Benson pledged his commitment to the development of Rivers State. He also addressed the issue of the absence of other persons who were supposed to be sworn in to the House as directed by the courts.

The event made it a record third time, Mr Kombowei Benson has been sworn in as the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

Bayelsa Speaker Obeys Appeal Court Ruling, Steps Down

Supreme courtThe Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Kombowei Benson, has stepped down from his post in obedience to the December 9 Court of Appeal ruling which declared his election null and void.

Benson’s dismissal brings to five the number of members of the State Assembly sacked by the Election Petition Tribunal in the state.

His decision to step down from the position of Speaker, was noticeable at Tuesday’s sitting with the Deputy Speaker, Abraham Igonbere (Brass Constituency 3) presiding over the House’s consideration of the 2016 Appropriation Bill submitted to it by the state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson.

The Court of Appeal ordered that the election of Hon. Benson Friday Konbowei, as the winner of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly seat for Southern Ijaw Constituency for elections held on April 11, 2015 was null and void.

The Court of Appeal, presided over by Hon. Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, Hon. Justice Ejembi Eko and Hon. Justice Stephen Jonah Adam, ‎ordered that, “it is hereby ordered that fresh elections shall be conducted in all the wards of the constituency within 90 days from today except in Olodiama Ward four and the polling unit 20-30 in Foropa Ward four.

“These results from Olodiama Ward four and polling unit 20-30 in Foropa Ward four shall upon the fresh elections in other wards as ordered, thereafter be duly collated and final declaration/return made.”

The APC candidate in the State House of Assembly election, Mr Ebifieghe Orunimigha, appealed against the ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal (EPT), at the Court of Appeal after losing at the EPT.

Bayelsa Governor Signs Physical Planning And Development Bill Into Law

Bayelsa StateBayelsa State Governor has signed the state Physical Planning and Development bill into law.

The Act addresses urban, regional and physical planning in line with Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration policy of transforming the entire Bayelsa landscape.

Appending his signature on the bill at the Government House in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital in south-south Nigeria, Governor Dickson said the essence of the bill was not only to tackle the issue of physical planning, but also to strengthen its revenue generation drive towards boosting the internally generated revenue base.

According to the Governor, the establishment of the new law harmonises all the existing legislation in the defunct Capital City Development Authority (CCDA) to be administered by a board at the state level, while the local planning authorities would oversee the same assignment at the Local Government level.

Governor Dickson also urged intending development partners and oil companies operating in the state to abide by the physical planning and development law as responsible corporate citizens of the state, by paying levies as and when due.

“With the establishment of this bill, the stage is set for development partners, as well as those already doing business in Bayelsa and several other oil operators, who hitherto, were operating outside our laws; hopefully will comply with our laws as responsible corporate citizens and pay their levies and bills as and when due.

“The board will be in charge at the state level and in the case of the Local Government Areas, the local planning authorities will oversee their activities,” the Governor said.

The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Konbowei Benson, who presented the Physical Planning and Development Bill for accent, explained that the passage of the new bill brought to 49, the total number of bills considered by the House.

4 Bayelsa Legislators’ Seats Declared Vacant After Defection To APC

RiversThe Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon Kombowei Benson, has declared the seats of four members, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), vacant.

The decision was taken by the speaker on Friday, after the four lawmakers declared their decision to join the APC.

After the declaration by the speaker, the State’s Governor, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, described the decision as a step in the right direction.

In a statement, the Governor said the action of the State Legislature was not only constitutional, but will also instil party discipline and sanitise the polity.

Governor Dickson condemned the practice of Carpet-Crossing at will by politicians, without recourse to the parties under which they were elected into positions.  He stressed that it was no longer acceptable under a thriving democracy.

According to him, the State Assembly’s decision would set the pace and show the direction of the new PDP in the State.

“Party discipline and loyalty, must be the overriding principles and factors for all members,” he said.

The Bayelsa State Governor also noted that indiscipline, disloyalty and greed had been the bane of the PDP at State and National levels in the past, warning that such acts would no longer be tolerated for whatever reason in the party.

 

Inconclusive Bayelsa Assembly Elections Not To Hold Soon – INEC

bayelsaINEC says the Bayelsa State Assembly election declared inconclusive in some constituencies will not hold “next week” as speculated.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa State, Mr Baritor Kpagi, briefed journalists, informing them of the state of affairs in the just concluded House of Assembly elections.

Although results of the elections had earlier been announced at the various constituencies, INEC said that the commission deemed it necessary to address the press because various political parties that participated in the elections had been announcing results that are in variance with INEC’s official result.

According to him, the commission has announced winners for 20 constituencies and declared two constituencies inconclusive.

He then gave reasons why the elections for the affected constituencies would not hold in the coming week as speculated.

INEC has announced that candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 20 constituency seats while the candidates for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won one constituency each.

Bayelsa Assembly Endorses Dickson For Second Term

Seriake Dickson The re-election bid of Governor Seriake Dickson received a major boost as members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly unanimously passed a vote of confidence on his administration.

The lawmakers attested to the governor’s efforts at transforming the state, especially in the areas of human capacity building during the governor’s inspection of the re-modeled House of Assembly complex.

This approval is coming after several local governments had given their approval for the governor to run for a second term in office.

At a meeting with the governor, the Deputy Speaker, Victor Sam Ateki, who said he was impressed by the governor’s developmental initiatives, moved a motion for the members of the House to endorse the governor for a second term in office.

Other members of the House also poured encomiums on the governor, as they said their constituents are pleased with his efforts in transforming the state.

In his address, the Speaker, Hon. Konbowei Benson also assured the governor that the house would continue to work with the executive arm of government to build a united, peaceful and prosperous state for the benefit of generations to come.

In response, Governor Dickson expressed delight by their solidarity and support stating that, all arms of government were stable as “the days of politics of in-fighting in the assembly were gone.”

Bayelsa House Of Assembly Passes 2014 Budget

The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has passed this year’s budget of N332.4 billion into law.

The Assembly, however, increased the budget by N33.2 billion from the initial N299.2 billion presented to it by Governor Seriake Dickson in December 2013.

The sum of N178.4 billion was appropriated for recurrent expenditure, while N159.9 billion was allocated for capital expenditure by the State Government.

The House Deputy Speaker, Victor Sam-Ateki, applauded his colleagues for their pains and diligence during the deliberations and passage of the Appropriation Bill.

The Deputy Speaker said that the aspiration of the people of the state would be met, as he advocated for speedy implementation of the budget.

Bayelsa House Debunks Defection Claims, Urges Jonathan To Contest

The Speaker and 18 members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly have debunked insinuations that 11 of its members were set to defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The 24-member House which is predominantly PDP with one non PDP member said that there was no issue of any of them leaving the PDP, as they were satisfied with the leadership style and developmental strides of the People’s Democratic Party.

The Speaker, Kombowei Benson, who addressed journalists at his residence in the state assembly quarters, after a closed door meeting with 18 members of the House, said that the speculations of defection were the handiwork of those envious of the peace and achievements of the State House of Assembly.

He also commended President Goodluck Jonathan on the strides he is making in the country and urged him to contest in the forthcoming 2015 presidential elections, as he is assured of the full backing of the South-South.

Other members of the House who spoke to Channels Television also insisted that Bayelsa was purely a PDP state and it would be impossible for other parties to thrive in the state.

Gunmen Kidnap Mother Of Bayelsa Assembly’s Leader

Gunmen have struck again in Bayelsa State, kidnapping the mother of the leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Peter Akpe.

Channels Television gathered that the mother of the House Leader, Mrs. Esther Akpe, aged 59, was kidnapped on Monday night between 9 and 10pm by five armed gunmen from her residence at Ebedebiri in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.

The gunmen were said to have come through the river around her residence and disappeared through same route.

They were said to have fired sporadically into the air to scare away the residents of the area.

The woman was said to have been sitting outside her home, savouring fresh air, when the kidnappers stormed her home. On hearing the sound of gunshots, she started to make her way into the house when the gunmen seized her and took her away into their speedboat and headed towards Bomadi in Delta State.

The troubled Leader of the House, Mr. Akpe confirmed the incident but said no contact had been established with the kidnappers.

Bayesla State has witnessed a string of high profile kidnaps and this has urged the state governor to plan on sending a bill to the House of Assembly, which will make kidnappers face the death penalty.

The octogenarian mother  of the Assembly Speaker was recently kidnapped and set free last week.