The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has distanced himself from the alleged attack on the house of former River State Governor, Peter Odili, and his wife, Justice Mary.
He stated this in reaction to claims by the Rivers State government that he sponsored thugs to besiege the couple’s house and that he and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, should be held responsible should anything happens to them.
This followed the judgement of a panel of Supreme Court judges led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili which sacked APC’s candidate, David Lyon, as the governor-elect of Bayelsa State.
The Rivers State Executive Council says it will hold Timipre Sylva and Adams Oshiomhole responsible if anything happens to Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.
At its meeting on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Council reviewed the recent attacks on the residence of the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili as a result of the Supreme Court judgment that nullified the election of David Lyon as Governor of Bayelsa State.
Some of the resolves reached during the meeting include:
1. That the Rivers State Executive Council observed that the Federal Government seems not to show interest in the sponsored threats to the lives of Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.
2. That the Rivers State Executive Council condemns the barricading of the residence of Dr Peter Odili at Maitama, Abuja by sponsored thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) .
3. That the Rivers State Executive Council wondered why Dr Peter Odili’s family should be singled out for the unwarranted attack, when the judgment that ousted David Lyon as Governor of Bayelsa State was a unanimous decision of a five-member panel of Supreme Court Justices.
4.That the Rivers State Executive Council warns the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole and their hired agents to desist from the sponsorship of violent attacks against Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.
5. That the Rivers State Government will hold Timipre Sylva and Adams Oshiomhole responsible if anything happens to Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.
6. That the Rivers State Executive Council noted that in the past Rivers State suffered unfavourable Judicial Pronouncements and never resorted to self help as being promoted by APC Leaders in the case of Bayelsa State.
7.That the Rivers State Government will employ all legal means to protect Dr Peter Odili and members of his family.
8. That the Rivers State Government will protect Rivers State Indigenes who are serving Federal and State Judicial officers .
9. That the Rivers State Government warns that should this harassment and intimidation continue, it will have no alternative than to retaliate.
The Rivers State Government said it will defend the lives and property of Rivers people at all times.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday staged a walk against corruption in parts of the country.
The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, led the walk by the anti-graft agency in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, also participated in the demonstration.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has said that Governor Seriake Dickson made the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the November 16 Governorship election a success.
Mr. Sylva who attributed the victory to a proverb explained that the party had a good candidate in David Lyon.
“If you marry your wife very well, you will be blessed with another wife, Governor Dickson made our job very easy because he married the wife very badly. Of course, he didn’t marry the state very well, so they roundly rejected him.
“We had a good candidate, and when you have a good product, it is very easy to sell it. So we went round to sell this product to Bayelsans and the result was an overwhelming success.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, says there is no plan for the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to remove subsidy on petroleum products.
Sylva stated this on Thursday when he appeared before the National Assembly Joint Committee on Petroleum to defend the ministry’s budget.
The Minister noted that rather than removing subsidy, the Federal Government will rather focus on fixing the nation’s refineries.
He explained that once the refineries are fixed, it will be easy to make petroleum products available at a cheaper amount that will ease the burden of subsidy payment.
“If I talk about fixing the refineries, that’s also another way of dealing with the same issue. If we fix the refinery and we are able to pump from the refineries, that will also reduce the cost of subsidy on the government,” he said.
“So the government is looking at it more from that angle than from the angle of removing subsidy. So it is not on the card at all.”
Contrary to the speculation that the nation consumes about 60 million barrels of petrol per day, the minister refuted the claim.
He regretted that some neighbouring countries were smuggling the petroleum products to the detriment of the Federal Government.
“There is a lot of smuggling and because petroleum products are cheaper in Nigeria, a lot of our neighbours are taking advantage of the cheaper prices in Nigeria.
“So Nigeria is now almost subsidizing half of Africa which is very difficult for us to do. So you can see that the government is doing something about controlling some of these leakages. And once those leakages are checked, we believe that the cost of subsidy can be at least bearable,” he stated.
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, has started a legal action to disqualify Mr Timipre Sylva from contesting a governorship election again in the state.
Sylva, who governed the state between May 2007 and February 2012 had gone to the Bayelsa State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, after losing the gubernatorial election seeking to be declared winner but lost. `
In the appeal filed before the Court of Appeal, Abuja on August 14, 2016 by their lawyer, Sebastine Hon (SAN), they asked the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal.
Governor Dickson, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the tribunal for refusing to bar Sylva from contesting governorship election having taken governorship oath of office twice.
He has cross-appealed the judgment of the tribunal in which he won.
In a cross appeal filed on Monday, August 15, Dickson’s lead counsel, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) contended that by virtue of Section 182(1)b of the 1999 Constitution, Sylva having been elected governor of Bayelsa State on two occasions is neither qualified to contest an election into that office again or present any petition challenging Dickson’s victory at the polls.
The Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal is set to deliver judgement in the petition filed by former governor of Bayelsa State and flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa governorship election, Mr Timipre Sylva on a date yet to be decided by the tribunal.
The Chairman of the Tribunal said the date will be communicated 48 hours to the day it will be delivered.
Mr Sylva is challenging the election of Mr Seriake Dickson as Governor of Bayelsa State.
The tribunal, however, allowed the petitioner witness to play a DVD it had earlier turned down.
Even though Governor Dickson had informed the tribunal, through his lawyers, that he had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, the tribunal allowed the DVD to be played after parties agreed that playing it will not prejudice the said appeal.
Done with that, all the parties in the suit adopted their final briefs of argument.
While the petitioner, Mr Timipre Sylva, asked the tribunal to grant the reliefs sought in his petition and declare him duly elected, the respondents; Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Dickson and his party the Peoples Democratic Party asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of substance and merit.
Channels Television’s Amaka Okafor reports that parties will now await judgment to know which side the pendulum will swing.
Hearing in a petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Bayelsa State All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva, challenging the election of Governor Seriake Dickson has been stalled due to wrong pagination of the petition.
Lawyer to the petitioner, Sebastian Hon (SAN), requested for an adjournment of one day to enable him reconcile the numbering of the pages and open his case.
Shortly after proceedings commenced it stopped abruptly when parties in the case and even the judges realized that the court process was not properly numbered and that the first witness was not properly identified.
This made counsel to Mr Sylva, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) apply for a short adjournment to enable him correct the errors.
His application was not opposed by the respondents and it was granted by the Tribunal.
The Tribunal, however, turned down his application asking that the day’s sitting not be counted as part of the days granted his client to prove his case.
The Chairman of the Tribunal agreed with the respondents that his inability to go on with his case, does not cancel the fact that the day had been fixed for hearing, but noted that should in case his application is premature and speculative, if he requires more days, it will be considered at a later date.
The APC its governorship candidate are challenging the election of Governor Seriake Dickson as Governor of Bayelsa State in the December 5, 2015 and January 9, 2016 governorship election in the state.
Counsel to Mr Timipre Sylva, Sebastian Hon, had moved the motion hinged on seven grounds.
He urged the Tribunal to grant the request, since INEC, which conducted the election and in possession of the items sought to be inspected, is not opposing the application.
According to him, in law, the facts deposed to in an affidavit and not challenged by way of counter affidavit are deemed admitted by the force of law.
He argued that it was wrong of Governor Seriake Dickson to claim that Mr Sylva’s claim was vague when the documents sought to be inspected were well pleaded in the petition and in line with section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010.
Opposing the application, lawyer to Governor Dickson, Tayo Oyetibo, urged the Tribunal to reject the application on the ground that it lacked merit.
Oyetibo insisted that the request of the petitioner was vague because it failed to name the maker of the items sought to be inspected
He also argued that the petitioner failed to give reasons he wanted to inspect the election materials, adding that the motion violates Section 104 of the Evidence Act because the mandatory fee for certification of the materials has not been paid by the petitioner.
Among the materials sought to be inspected are the ballot papers, Form C4 and duplicate copy of the Certificate of Return issued to Governor Seriake Dickson.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa supplementary election, Timipre Sylva, has described the recently concluded election as a conspiracy against democracy.
In an interview with Channels Television on Monday in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, Mr Sylva accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of conspiring with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led-government in the state to rig the polls.
“I have always raised this complain that the INEC in Bayelsa was set up as part of the PDP rigging machine and as an APC candidate we were contesting with that PDP rigging machine.
“If you look at the whole process from the beginning, they set us up. The ad-hoc staff were appointed from the state university and they were changed with impunity. In fact, the last set of the SPOs that went for the elections were changed on the morning of the election because they were to serve a particular purpose.
“I feel very sad that in this day and age, this is what we get in Bayelsa,” he said condemning the process of the election.
Mr Sylva accused the PDP of rigging the election and said he would explore all legal avenues to protest the result of the polls.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Seriake Dickson has been declared winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Dickson polled 134,998 votes to emerge winner of the election. Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timipre Sylva, scored 86,852 votes to place second.
“Henry Dickson Seriake, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected. This is signed by the returning officer dated this 10th day of January 2016,” the Returning Officer said.
After taking results from four local government areas where governorship rerun election was held in Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the collation of the final results in the early hours of Sunday between 12:00am and 2:00am local time.
After the results from Ogbia were announced, the electoral body said it would take a break and reconvene in the morning by 11:00am.
In the declared results, the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 448 votes in Yenagoa LGA while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 839.
In Brass LGA, APC had 1,679 and the PDP got 5. In Sagbama LGA, APC scored 119 , PDP, 180 while APC had 139 in Ogbia LGA with PDP polling 1,290 votes.
On resumption, it was declared that in Ekeremor Local Government Area, the PDP polled a total of 2,695 votes, while the APC recorded 257 votes.
In Nembe, the PDP had 1,160 votes while the APC polled 1, 400 votes.
The result for Southern Ijaw was finally announced on Sunday evening around 7:00PM local time. The PDP scored a total of 23,081 votes, while APC scored 10,216.
The collation officer also reported that elections did not take place in Kolana Ward 17 because voting materials arrived very late and had to be returned.
Speaking on Sunday evening during Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, Mr Otiotio described the decision to announce the results as a disregard for the electoral process.
“The process started with an abuse of the process from the PDP to this point, even at this point, because provision 26 of the Electoral Act is very clear.
“It says that where the difference between the winner and runner up is less than total votes cancelled, the returning officer is not supposed to make a return.
“In this case, the total votes cancelled is about 53, 000 votes while the difference between PDP and APC is 48,146. In this circumstance, the returning officer is not supposed to declare any winner,” he said.
INEC had revised its guidelines for the re-run of the governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The Commission said all the parties had given their consent to the revised guidelines, which it believes would help to fast-track the exercise on Saturday, January 9.
According to the new document, accreditation and voting will go on simultaneously.
“Severe Militant Activities”
The INEC had in December 2015 declared the Bayelsa election inconclusive after it rescheduled the governorship election in Southern Ijaw for January 9.
Professor Mustapha Leki announced the rescheduled election at the headquarters of INEC in Yenagoa, the capital of the State.
He said the INEC experienced major disturbances and challenges in a number of places, especially the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
“These were occasioned as a result of severe militant activities. As a result of this development and working in conjunction with security agencies, our first concern is to take steps to stabilise the situation to ensure the safety of electoral officials and the security of materials,” he told reporters.
While the incumbent governor said he had set up a judicial commission of enquiry to examine the alleged violence and thuggery during the governorship election, the APC candidate said the action of the election umpire was a rape on democracy that had denied the people of Bayelsa the right to choose their leaders.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged the people of Bayelsa State to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s governorship election.
Addressing a rally in Yenagoa, the Vice President said that a vote for the APC was an assurance for more jobs, poverty alleviation and an end to unproductive government.
Professor Osinbajo and other leaders of the APC also appealed to supporters of the party to shun any form of violence during the polls.
After the Vice President’s speech, the governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Timipre Sylva, urged the supporters to yield to the advice of the Vice President and do so without any form of violence.
The Party Ward Chairmen were also present to the leadership of the party.