|Urhobo Historical Society
Report of Investigation Panel That Impeached Alamieyeseigha
Pursuant to the
of Section 188 (7) (b) of the Constitution of The Federal Republic of
1999, which states thus:
“ A Panel appointed under this section, shall, within three months of its appointment, report its findings to the House of Assembly”
We hereby present
to you the
FIRST PART of our proceedings and findings regarding the above:
At our first sitting on Tuesday, the 06th of December, 2005, the provisions of Rule 2 (a) of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly Impeachment Procedure Rules were invoked to enable The Panel sit in camera.
The said rule states as follows:
“The panel shall
have and may
exercise any of the following powers, that is to say:
An examination of the allegations levelled against Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, Executive Governor of
An allegation under category (i) above, dispenses with the necessity for proof because, it goes without saying. In that category, the facts are said to be “axiomatic”. The adjective “axiomatic” derives from the word ‘axiom’. Webster’s Encyclopaedic Unabridged
Dictionary of the English Language 1989 defines “axiom” as:
What is required is
an evaluation of the facts and their juxtaposition
requirements of the law.
On the other hand, an allegation under category (ii) above, intrinsically requires exhaustive fact-finding that is bound to take a lot of time, resources and effort. Visits shall have to be arranged to the Corporate Affairs Commission in
In the present circumstance, where, owing to non-availability of funds due to the freezing of bank accounts of the Bayelsa State Judiciary, the Panel has had to independently arrange its own funds for its hotel accommodation and day-to-day operations, a practical, down-to-earth approach is inevitable. Common sense therefore dictates that we commence with those allegations in category (i), before addressing allegations in category (ii).
ALLEGATIONS IN CATEGORY (i), i.e. Allegations for which proof is unnecessary:
ground to the notice of impeachment of his Excellency, Chief D.S.P.
Alamieyeseigha, JP, the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State of
pursuant to section 188 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal
of Nigeria, dated 18th November, 2005. (note that the additional
itself is dated 22nd November, 2005).
“His Excellency, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, while standing trial for money laundering offences in a court in London, the United Kingdom, smuggled himself out of London and illegally returned to Yenagoa, Bayelsa State of Nigeria on the 21st day of November, 2005, contrary to the conditions of Bail granted him by the court in London which had restricted him to London, and thereby bringing the exalted office of the governor of Bayelsa State to disrepute, odium and ridicule.”
It must be observed that despite the clear and unequivocal words of the above allegation, His Excellency, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha failed and or neglected to offer any facts or averment in rebuttal thereof in his Statement Made in Reply to The Purported Notice of Impeachment. The practical effect of this is that the said allegation remains untraversed, and therefore stands admitted. In simple terms, the allegation of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly is to the effect that the Governor jumped bail. In his defence, the Governor was silent on the issue. It is trite law and logic that facts admitted need not be proved; and averment unchallenged, is gospel truth.
Consequences of the
to Abide by the Conditions of the Bail Scotland Yard could issue a
arrest against Chief Alamieyeseigha and further embarrass the
Chief Alamieyeseigha has become a fugitive liable to be arrested whenever he returns to the
By his ignominious
Bayelsans and indeed all Nigerians have been scandalised, embarrassed
depicted as people whose word cannot be relied upon.
Chief Alamieyeseigha has jeopardised the safety and besmirched the reputation of Nigerians living in or visiting The United Kingdom.
Alamieyeseigha has jeopardised the safety and free movement
of the present-day Governor of Bayelsa State or his successor in
Chief Alamieyeseigha has severely hindered the capacity of the Governor of Bayelsa State to transact international business whether now or in the future, as he can no longer travel overseas.
Chief Alamieyeseigha has dealt a severe blow to the Ijaw Nation of which Bayelsa is part, who traditionally take great pride in the meaning of their name – Ijaw ---- truth, which name has now been bastardised owing to the profligacy of Chief Alamieyeseigha.
It is instructive
that in the Oath of Allegiance he swore to in accordance with the
the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic
Nigeria Cap C23 to at his swearing ceremony in May 2003 he swore
“preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic
This is further reaffirmed by his swearing to the Oath of Office of Governor pursuant to the same Seventh Schedule, as follows: “will strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…. and that I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions.”
In view of the foregoing, the issue that has arisen for consideration is whether the acts of the Governor do not amount to a failure on his part to keep to the Oath he swore to at his swearing-in ceremony in May 2003. To resolve this issue, recourse has to be made to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 13, which deals with the Fundamental Obligations of the Government, provides that it shall be the:
“duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this Chapter (that is, Chapter II dealing with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy) of this Constitution”
Under the Foreign Policy Objectives provided in Section 19 (d) Chief Alamieyeseigha is enjoined to have respect for international law. It is settled in international law that a foreign state can exercise criminal jurisdiction over someone who is not her citizen if the alleged crime was committed within her jurisdiction. By jumping bail Chief Alamieyeseigha is in breach of his oath to respect international law. He has by this, committed an act that amounts to gross misconduct in line with the definition of the term “gross misconduct” as given in Section 188 of the Constitution which defines ‘’gross misconduct’’ as a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion in the House of Assembly to gross misconduct.
An act is said to be misconduct if it falls below the standard of behaviour expected of a person and in this particular instance a Governor. The failure of Chief Alamieyeseigha to abide by the conditions of bail amounts to gross misconduct apart from being a grave violation of the Constitution. This is anchored on the fact such conduct falls below the standard of behaviour expected of a Governor.
Also worthy of note is the fact that in the exercise of the Court’s discretion to grant bail, provision was made for sureties. These sureties are eminent persons within the jurisdiction of the court who would vouch for the character and integrity of the recipient of the Court’s discretion to grant bail. In Chief Alamiyeseigha’s case, three prominent and distinguished persons held him out to be a man of honour, a man who would stand his trial, a responsible and trustworthy person. They were willing to place, and did place, their reputation and property on the line to prove this point. However, by debasing himself to the extent of jumping bail, he has held himself out to be a man without integrity, without morals and no sense of decency. This indeed constitutes a misconduct which renders him unfit to govern a state. His conduct is infradig, and most unbecoming of a person adorning the exalted title of “His Excellency”.
By virtue of the
this investigative panel is of the considered opinion AND HEREBY GIVES
VERDICT that the above act of the Governor is tantamount to
misconduct” and therefore renders him liable to the provisions of
188 of The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
ALLEGATION NO. 6 IN THE NOTICE OF IMPEACHMENT DATED 18TH NOVEMBER, 2005 :
“Failing, refusing and/or neglecting to formally notify the Government of Bayelsa State, particularly The Bayelsa State House of Assembly of his arrest, detention, and arraignment and trial in court in London for the offence of money laundering but instead deceptively wrote (sic) to the Bayelsa State House of Assembly a letter, obviously backdated to the first day of September, 2005 requesting to be away for 120 days to enable him recuperate from a surgery he underwent in Germany, thus deliberately and mischievously attempting to keep away from the government and people of Bayelsa State, the fact of his arrest, detention and trial in London of money laundering charges, a fact that is now house-hold knowledge all over the world.”
Upon exhaustive examination of the above allegation, the following incontrovertible deductions were arrived at by our Panel:
(ii) That His Excellency, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha
deliberately engaged in suppression of material facts when he
refused and or neglected to notify the Bayelsa State House of
of his arrest, detention, and arraignment and trial in
London for the offence of money laundering.
(iii) That His Excellency, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha sought to deceive the Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the entire people of Bayelsa, by virtue of the spurious letter addressed to the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly ostensibly dated 01st September, 2005, but in actual fact made in reaction to an event which occurred on 15th day of September, 2005, namely his arrest and detention with the prospect of long stay in the United Kingdom.
(iv) That the deceit referred to in (iii) above, is borne out by the fact that close associates cum advisers of the Governor were caused to issue a statement immediately after news of his arrest and detention to the effect that the governor was having “extended bed rest” in London, following surgery in Germany.
(v) That flowing from the foregoing is the fact that His Excellency, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, must have written that letter AFTER, NOT BEFORE his arrest, but wilfully and deliberately dated it to create the impression that it was written before — a fact which by itself, is indicative of a fraudulent propensity.
By virtue of (i) to
above, this investigative panel is of the considered opinion that the
acts of the Governor are incompatible with his dignified status
EXCELLENCY”, tantamount to “gross misconduct”. The Investigative
therefore HEREBY GIVES THE VERDICT that the above act of the Governor
him liable to the provisions of Section 188 of
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
Mr. Speaker sir, having thus submitted this FIRST PART of our report, we shall now proceed with deliberations on the other allegations.
Barrister David Serena-Dokubo Spiff