Honourable Israel Sunny-Goli, the lawmaker representing Brass Constituency 1 in Bayelsa State House of Assembly, has filed a suit against Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, regarding the Commission of Inquiry set up to probe the violence that occurred in the state during the 2019 elections.
He is seeking an order to declare the commission’s inquest illegal, null and void.
The Governor had set up the Justice Ineikade Eradiri-led Commission of Inquiry to probe the violence that rocked the state during the presidential and National Assembly elections in various parts of the state.
The Commission, which has begun sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, has listened to chilling testimonies of various victims of the electoral violence prompting it to invite Sunny-Goli, former Governor Timipre Sylva, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Sam Kodjo as their names featured prominently in the testimonies of victims.
Though all the invitees have shunned the invitation on the claim that the Commission of Inquiry was a “kangaroo” effort, Sunny-Goli, the House of Representatives member-elect for Nembe/Brass Constituency, has approached the court to seek some reliefs.
In the suit marked FHC/PHC/CS/69/2019 filed at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Sunny-Goli, through his counsel, Stephen Topba is seeking, among other declarations, that the 8th defendant (Governor of Bayelsa State) “is not competent to constitute a commission of inquiry into any matter which falls outside the legislative competence of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.”
The lawmaker, who also sought a declaration for the commission of inquiry as an “illegal body that cannot validly invite or summon the plaintiff to appear before it”, further prayed that “the proceedings, hearings, meetings, deliberations, reports, resolutions, recommendations or any action already taken or to be taken by the Ist defendant (the Bayelsa State Commission of Inquiry) are illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.
He is therefore seeking an order “setting aside the invitation and or summons” extended to him and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Commission of Inquiry from continuing with proceedings and submitting a report.
Topba, in a cover letter attached to the court process served on the Commission, said Sunny-Goli is interested in getting justice.
“In the view of the above, we respectfully request you to stay action on the proceedings of the Commission pending the determination of the above suit. We believe firmly that the precious time of the commission and the interest of justice will be better served if the said suit is dispensed with as to the appropriateness or otherwise of the continual existence of the Commission before further steps are taken on the assignment before the Commission,” the letter read.
However, Dr. Richard Ogbe, Secretary of the Commission, said the Commission has not received any document on the matter from the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.