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I didn’t step down; I’m still in charge – Bayelsa Speaker

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“I categorically and unequivocally state that I am and still remain the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly the member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency four.”

Rt. Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson with Governor Dickson

Embattled Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Friday Benson, on Thursday, dismissed reports that he had since stepped down following the judgment of the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, he insisted that he still remains the Speaker of the Assembly and member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency 4.

He said he sufficient proofs‎ that the judgement for that day was delivered in his favour.

The lawmaker stated that there was no enrolment order from the court asking him to vacate his seat or for reason of a different thing that was said in the court as has happened, neither was there an order that he should meet the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a different date of election. 

“INEC has not informed me of any notice of enrolment or whatever that they have also received. There is nothing,” he said.

Benson described the alleged judgment against him as just a purported claim by a party with the intention to cause confusion.

He said, “The falsehood being circulated in both the social, electronic and print media by members of the APC should be disregarded as it represents the desperate ambition and interest of only the peddlers of this falsehood.

“What transpired in the open Court was that the case was dismissed for lack of merit by the presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ejembi Eko represented by Justice Muhammed Lawal Garba (JCA). 

“This judgment was delivered in the presence of several lawyers including my lawyers, lawyers of INEC, that of the APC and several others who were in the Court for other matters on the 9th of December, 2015. 

“Therefore, a judgment delivered in the open Court could not have been given a counter judgment secretly and handed over only to the lawyers of the APC who are in possession of this purported judgment.

“It is on the strength of the above that I categorically and unequivocally state that I am and still remain the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly the member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency four.

“I have contacted my lawyers who have sufficient evidence to the effect that the Appellant suit by the candidate of the APC was duly dismissed for lack of merit thereby upholding my election into the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

“I use this medium to call on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to properly investigate this matter in order to save our Judiciary from this huge embarrassment and bring the perpetrators to book.”

The text of the press conference reads…

“My attention has been drawn to a purported claim by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleging that the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt on the 9th of December, 2015 nullified my election into the Bayelsa State House of Assembly. This is untrue and a lie in the highest order! 

“What transpired in the open Court was that the case was dismissed for lack of merit by the presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ejembi Eko represented by Justice Muhammed Lawal Garba (JCA). This judgment was delivered in the presence of several lawyers including my lawyers, lawyers of INEC, that of the APC and several others who were in the Court for other matters on the 9th of December, 2015. 

“Therefore, a judgment delivered in the open Court could not have been given a counter judgment secretly and handed over only to the lawyers of the APC who are in possession of this purported judgment. 

“It is on the strength of the above that I categorically and unequivocally state that I am and still remain the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency four (4).

“That the falsehood being circulated in both the social, electronic and print media by members of the APC should be disregarded as it represents the desperate ambition and interest of only the peddlers of this falsehood.

“That I have contacted my lawyers who have sufficient evidence to the effect that the Appellant suit by the candidate of the APC was duly dismissed for lack of merit thereby upholding my election into the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

“I use this medium to call on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to properly investigate this matter in order to save our Judiciary from this huge embarrassment and bring the perpetrators to book.

“May I therefore enjoin members and staff of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and indeed all Bayelsans to continue to keep faith with the State Assembly as we are poised to making laws that will impact positively on the lives of Bayelsans while commending them for standing by the truth.”

Rt. Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson

Speaker, Bayelsa State House Of Assembly


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