The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the last Bayelsa State governorship elections,Chief Timipre Sylva has accused the Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of trying to intimidate the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal. Sylva said Dickson should avoid speculations and allow the tribunal do its works.
A statement by his Media Adviser , Doifie Buokoribo reads:
“The attention of Chief Timipre Sylva, candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the last Bayelsa State governorship elections, has been drawn to a dangerous campaign in a few online media outlets and the social media. The structured campaign, apparently, launched to try to browbeat the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal as it prepares to deliver its judgement bears all the hallmarks of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s frequently used bully-boy tactics. It has involved a series of lies deliberately told to impugn the integrity of the tribunal in obvious fear of an unfavourable ruling.
“In one of the canards about a week ago, vended through a strange group, Good Governance Initiative, the Dickson group claimed that Sylva was lobbying the wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, and other officials of the Federal Government to put pressure on the election tribunal to declare him governor via a “black market judgement”.
“Another false report, an apparent follow-up to the intimidation campaign run, appeared on Thursday, 14 July. It claimed the existence of an imaginary tension in Yenagoa following alleged “confirmation” by APC leaders, including the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that the tribunal would rule in Sylva’s favour. According to the report, “Some key supporters of the Dickson-led PDP” have met to plan how to react in the event of an unfavourable judgement.
“Chief Sylva, who is the petitioner in the case sees this attempt by Dickson to second-guess the decision of the tribunal and, perhaps, try to intimidate it, as immoral and despicable. Sylva appeals to Dickson and his men to allow the tribunal to do its job.
“Dickson had successfully applied his familiar intimidation strategies in the past, before, during, and after the governorship election in the state last December and this January. But Sylva does not believe such tactics would succeed with the judiciary.
“As a democrat and firm believer in the rule of law, Sylva had taken his misgivings about the outcome of the election to the election tribunal to see if the victory awarded to Dickson by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could stand up to judicial scrutiny. He, thus, urges that Dickson should for once control his predilections for falsehood and violent incitement and wait for the judicial process as it unfolds.
“Sylva’s expectation of justice from the election tribunal is hinged on his belief that the honourable judges would be guided by the letter and spirit of the law.
Neither Bola Tinubu, nor Abubakar Malami, Babachir Lawal or Aisha Buhari is a member of the election tribunal. Therefore, it is unfair for Dickson and his group to insinuate that the respected tribunal judges are poodles of any political party or individual.
“It is also unjust for Dickson to be spending the resources of the people of Bayelsa State on a desperate media campaign purposed to call into question the reputation of the country’s judiciary. It is even wicked, ungodly and uncaring that this wastage is happening at a time when workers in the state are being owed several months’ salaries.
“We are aware that huge amounts of money have been disbursed by Dickson to individuals and groups to do a hatchet job on the Bayelsa election tribunal as it prepares to deliver its judgement. “We are also aware that certain groups have been procured by Dickson and his men to cause violence if the ruling does not go in his favour.
“This manifestation of politics of anxiety on the part of Dickson is despicable. It is uncalled for, especially, as he is well aware that whatever judgement the election tribunal would give is not final.
“Finally, no date has been fixed for judgement by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Holden at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with Petition Number: EPT/BY/GOV/002/2016, involving: Sylva and the APC Versus INEC, Dickson and PDP. Yet, one report was very categorical on “the date” for verdict. This is worrisome.
“According to one online medium on Thursday: “Although the tribunal will deliver its judgement on his petition on July 29, sources told journalists that the ‘positive mood’ in the Sylva’s camp was sequel to alleged ‘confirmation’ received from some influential citizens within the APC that judgement will likely go the way of their candidate at the tribunal”.
Irrefutable evidence linking key media aides of Dickson to these irresponsible reports makes this even more worrisome.