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APC Seeks Bayelsa Speaker’s Arrest For Defying Appeal Court Judgment

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The All Progressives Congress, Bayelsa State chapter, has called for the arrest and prosecution of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, for disobeying an Appeal Court ruling nullifying his election.

It also condemned the Peoples Democratic Party dominated legislature for allegedly aiding and abetting illegality within its fold.

The APC noted that it was “undemocratic and dishonourable” for the House to have allowed Benson, whose election was nullified by the appellate court, to remain in office over 40 days after the court’s ruling.

The APC, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Panebi Fortune, said it was irresponsible, ironical and unacceptable for a law-making House to treat the sacred pronouncement of the third arm of government with disdain.

The party said it took public outcries and efforts of whistleblowers, including the legal team of the state APC, to unearth the illegality perpetrated in the House.

It called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the Speaker for contempt, adding that Benson should be convicted and committed to prison for disobeying court order.

The party also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to investigate the financial dealings of Benson within the period he disobeyed the court order.

The APC said the anti-graft agencies should make Benson account for December and January salaries and allowances he collected including other disbursements he made against the provisions of the constitution.

The party appealed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to look into the Bayelsa situation in the interest of judicial integrity.

Meanwhile, a High Court sitting in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, has ordered the APC and its state Chairman, Mr. Philip Shekwo, to pay a team of six lawyers the sum of ₦92.7m being the balance of professional feels for defending the party at the 2014 Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal.

The APC lawyers, led by Mr. Shikammah Sheltu, had sued the party for its failure to pay the balance of their professional fee.

Delivering the judgment in Lafia, Justice Umaru Dikko, said the case was introduced under the undefended list procedure in line with Order 15 Rules 4 of the state High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2010.

Justice Dikko, however, maintained that the APC was provided with all the basic court processes and could not respond accordingly by serving a notice accompanied with an affidavit to state its defence.

The judge granted the plaintiff relief for the defendant to pay 10 percent interest on the judgement sum from the date of delivery till the sum is fully liquidated.

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