The weird and extreme show of impunity shown by Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson in which he led a mob of thugs on an attack on a federal high court in the state Lawyers has finally come under the scrutiny of lawyers and civil rights activists who have called for the impeachment and prosecution of the Governor.The groups also described the governor’s act as “criminal” and an abuse of the rule of law.
The call for impeachment comes on the heels of a video published by the PREMIUM TIMES, which showed Mr. Dickson leading thugs to the courthouse in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The recording also showed walking into the court premises, accompanied by his police guards and hangers on, before hooligans, including rifle-wielding police officers, attacked the court.
Debunking the video recording, The governor’s spokesman, Daniel Iworiso, revealed that its contents were doctored.
The Nigerian Bar Association further explained that they had initiated an investigation on the case and were awaiting the Governor’s side of the story. Augustine Alegeh, the president of NBA, claimed that any attack on the court is “unacceptable” as they were sacred places. He insisted that anyone who desecrate the court not just the court but the whole essence of rule of law and the whole judicial system.
Also lending his voice on the issue, The Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Awal Musa, described the incident as the highest level of irresponsibility and impunity which marked an example of a failed leadership.
“It is all part of the lack of values that we have in the governors. When we put people who do not have regards for rule of law, this is what you see. It is rather a big problem to have people who do not deserve to be leaders. It’s rather unfortunate that the governor cannot be prosecuted immediately because of the constitutional immunity” he said. He however called for the impeachment clause to be invoked immediately.
Also speaking, a legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, explained that if an iota of respect still lingers in the midst of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, impeachment proceedings would have taken effect from the day the video went viral, stating that it is a criminal offense.
“It is clear that governor has improved on his recent conduct where he presided over militants in the Bayelsa state government house and encouraged militants to declare war on Nigerian should Goodluck not win elections,” he said.
It must be remembered that the attack on the court followed a case between a serving senator, Heineken Lokpobiri, against the governor’s preferred senatorial candidate, Foster Ogola, over the validity of Mr. Ogola’s candidacy for the Bayelsa West senatorial district.