“As the people of Bayelsa State await the verdict of the Appeal Court in the governorship tussle between the APC candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, and PDP's Governor Seriake Dickson, we have found it pertinent to alert the nation that a bribery ring is making frantic efforts to infiltrate the appeal panel."
The Bayelsa Professional Youths Forum raised alarm on Monday over the alleged attempts by Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson to use a retired Supreme Court judge to influence the outcome of the appeal filed by All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate Timipre Sylva against the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal.
Group coordinator Edison Bibiaredei stated that though the State is expectant about the outcome of the appeal, the alleged attempts by the Bayelsa State governor to hire a retired Supreme Court judge to bribe and subvert justice is criminal and should be rejected.
“As the people of Bayelsa State await the verdict of the Appeal Court in the governorship tussle between the APC candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, and PDP's Governor Seriake Dickson, we have found it pertinent to alert the nation that a bribery ring is making frantic efforts to infiltrate the appeal panel,” the group announced.
"The bribery ring, ostensibly working for Governor Dickson, is being spearheaded by a Delta-born Bayelsan, a retired justice of the Supreme Court, who has made attempts to 'reach concerned judges' in respect of the pending case at the Appeal Court.
"This has become very imperative in view of several unguarded utterances made by Governor Dickson that he has already perfected plans to procure a favorable verdict as far as the appeal instituted by Sylva is concerned.
"We have it on good authority that the said judge has a budget of N5 billion for this unwholesome act. In the first instance, he had made an attempt to deliver the sum of N3 billion to an agent of the panel for onward transmission to targeted points in order to influence the outcome of the verdict. The balance of N2 billion is to be put on hold until the delivery of a verdict in favor Governor Dickson.
"This is ridiculous and very mindlessly conceived when juxtaposed with the suffering of Bayelsa workers as a result of months of unpaid salaries.
“To underscore the seriousness of the matter, we have a few hours ago, forwarded an evidence-backed petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the anti-graft agency to commence an investigation to unravel the finances of the said retired Supreme Court judge.
"We call on Nigerians to ignore Governor Dickson’s false alarm as regards the closeness of a certain judge on the appeal panel to Sylva. To say the least, this is the governor’s usual style whenever he has perfected acts as in the case under scrutiny. The alarm is a pre-emptive act meant to deter and possibly suppress our curiosity over the movement of huge cash bags out of the Bayelsa Government House to Abuja.
"For the records, there are several blackmail outlets already being bankrolled by Governor Dickson both in the conventional media and online platforms with similar conclusions aimed at blackmailing the same Nigerian judiciary to do his bidding," the group’s statement read.
Contacted on the development, an aide working for the State government, who pleaded anonymity, dismissed the claim by the group as a lie and a deliberate attempt to arm-twist the judiciary.