Sylva to Dickson: Allow Bayelsa election tribunal work
By Onyema Amanze
Chief Timipre Sylva, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last Bayelsa State governorship elections, has decried what he called a dangerous campaign in a few online media outlets and the social media to browbeat the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal as it prepares to deliver its judgement.
Through his Media Advise, Doifie Buokoribo, the former governor alleged that the media campaign bears all the hallmarks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s frequently used bully-boy tactics.
Sylva accused Dickson and his group of putting pressure via falsehood and intimidation to preempt the tribunal judgment to favour him.
While advising Dickson to allow the tribunal to do its job, Sylva said: “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.”
He therefore 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, stressing that he does not believe such tactics would succeed with the judiciary.
He, therefore advised Dickson control his predilections for falsehood and violent incitement and wait for the judicial process as it unfolds.
“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,” he said.
Besides, 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.