Bayelsa Urges INEC To Shift Nov 2 Poll …As CCT Fixes May 22 To Arraign Bayelsa Speaker, Clerk, Three Others

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The Bayelsa State Government, yesterday, demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should postpone the governorship election scheduled for November 2, 2019.
The government premised its demand on the fact that the day clashes with its yearly thanksgiving service which is backed by law.
The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), made the plea when he led Bayelsa stakeholders on a courtesy visit to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in Abuja, yesterday.
The state’s thanksgiving service, according to the deputy governor, has the backing of the law and had been on for the past seven years.
In his response, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would meet to deliberate on the matter and get back to them.
Yakubu also announced the readiness of INEC to commence the prosecution of electoral offenders whose case files have already been prepared by the Nigeria Police Force.
Meanwhile, The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, in Abuja, yesterday, said it would on May 22, arraign the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly,Hon. Friday Kombowei Benson, and four others for alleged abuse of Office.
The Mr. Danladi Umar-led tribunal, in a statement that was signed by the Head, Press & Public Relations at the tribunal, Ibraheem AL-Hassan, disclosed that the Bayelsa Speaker would be docked on a four-count charge.
It said others to be arraigned included the Clerk of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Owudogu Edward, the Accountant, MrKoroye A. Stephen, as well as former Clerk and Accountant of the Assembly, Mr Aaron W. Timiye and Mr Thomas Tamaraodubo, respectively.
The CCT said it okayed arraignment of the Bayelsa officials following a correspondence it received from the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, on April 30.
The defendants were accused of abusing their respective offices, contrary to paragraph 9 of the Fifth schedule, Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Their action was said to be punishable under Paragraph 18 (1) and (2) of the Constitution, and as incorporated under section 13 and 23 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, CAP C15 LFN 2004.
The statement from the CCT read: “Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal Justice Danladi Y. Umar, has approved 22nd May, 2019 for the commencement of trial against serving Speaker of Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Hon. Friday Kombowei Benson and four others for alleged abuse of office.
“The offences filed was on four count charge, on alleged abused of office against Hon Friday Kombowei Benson, the Speaker Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Cleark of Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Mr Aaron W. Timiye (retired) and Accountant, Bayelsa state House of Assembly Mr Thomas Tamaraodubo (retired).
“Others are Owudogu Edward serving Clerk, Bayelsa state House of Assembly and MrKoroye A. Stephen, serving Accountant, Bayelsa state House of Assembly.
“This was contained in a correspondent from Code of Conduct Bureau, addressed to Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal to commence trial, dated 30th day of April 2019, jointly signed by the operatives of Code of Conduct Bureau: Musa Ibrahim Usman and Fatima Kere Ahmed.
“The application reads; pursuant to section 24 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, I hereby apply to the Tribunal for the commencement of trial for the offence of Abuse of Office contrary to paragraph 9 of the fifth schedule, part 1 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and punishable under paragraph 18 (1) and (2) of the same constitution, and as incorporated under section 13 and 23 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act CAP C15 LFN 2004”.