Group wants Bayelsa PDP governorship candidate prosecuted over asset declaration violation

A group, which goes by the name, the Bayelsa Coalition for Good Governance and Accountability has demanded the prosecution of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just-concluded Bayelsa state governorship election, Senator Douye Diri, for alleged non-declaration of assets.

The group alleged in a petition to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)  that the infraction covered the period Douye was the deputy chief of staff in the state.

The spokesman of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo accused the CCB of shielding the PDP chieftain.

The petitioner said: “If the PDP candidate for the Bayelsa Governorship election Senator Douye Diri has deliberately refused to honour the CCB invitation to defend the allegations of non-declaration of assets and false declaration of assets, it’s a grave disrespect for the rule of law and constituted authority. Therefore, the CCB should do the needful as Senator Diri is not above the law and he cannot continue to hold the CCB to ransom.

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“The CCB as an anti-corruption agency of the government has aligned themselves with the PDP while present senior officers of the bureau are all appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari who has the fight against corruption as one of his three-point agenda.

“No doubt the attitude of these officers will subvert the President’s anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government.”

Ambakedrimo assured that the group has evidence against the gubernatorial candidate, saying: “We have provided all necessary actionable materials and information to the CCB to enable them to carry out their investigation and possible prosecution of the subject.  Yet, the Director and Deputy Director of the Intelligence, Investigation and Monitoring Department of the CCB and others have not been able to explain why this matter has not been charged to the CCT.

“We are watching with keen interest the possible manipulative scheme of the non-declared assets of the subject into the system and give Senator Douye Diri a clean slate.

“We shall make this information known to President Buhari and the world soonest.

“The intelligence, investigation and monitoring department is complicit in this matter and should be held accountable if this matter is swept under the carpet.

“Senator Douye Diri has deliberately refused to honour the invitation of the bureau for the fifth time within the last two months while junketing to Dubai to meet with Atiku Abubakar and feigning ill health.

“The question to ask is Douye Diri above the law, does Douye Diri enjoy immunity and most importantly why is he running from the law.”

But in his response, CCB Director Intelligence, Investigation and Monitoring of the Bureau, Sebastine Gwimi, denied that Duoye was being shielded by the board.

He explained: “We received the petition even before the Senator became the candidate of the PDP, we have investigated the allegations contained in the petition thoroughly, we even invited the petitioner to come and authenticate his petition which he has done and even went further to provide us with fresh insights.

“We have invited Diri on several occasions and he has shunned the invitation, he usually sends his lawyers and we have tried to tell him that he has to come himself, but he has been evading our invitations, giving excuses that he is sick and we still see him campaigning.

“He has even accused us of being used by his political enemies to persecute him, just as the petitioners have just accused us of taking money to shield Diri. I want to tell you that even if he wins the elections we still have time before he is sworn in to drag him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal to face his trial.”

He advised the gubernatorial candidate to come forward and defend himself over the allegation.

“I will advise him to come forward and defend himself and not be evading our summons unless he is saying that he is guilty. We are as soon as practical going to take him to the Tribunal for trial,” he stated.

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