23rd June, 2010
Just as the seven-man probe panel chaired by D.C. Dewingwe continues to sit in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, South-South Nigeria, to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Peremobowei Ebebi, the state Deputy Governor, despite the Ebebiâ€™s objection in both the state High Court and a Federal High Court,Abuja, at least five names are being bandied about as likely successors of Ebebi.
According to P.M.NEWS sources,the names popping up include: Agatha Goma,the younger sister of the state Chief Judge,Justice Eberi,and Werinipre Seigbarugu, the Speaker of the House of Assembly who is alsoÂ presiding over the impeachment process.
Others include:Gideon Ekeuowei,Secretary to State Government, Seigbarugu, Weripamowei Dudafa,Commissioner for local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs all from the Central senatorial district,while another name popping up is that of Bekes Etifa,Commissioner for Youths and Conflict Resolution from Bayelsa West Senatorial District just as Ebebi.
Ebebi,through his lawyer Alex Iziyon, SAN, has said that he will not participate in the proceedings at the panel sitting since the Chairman refused to adjourn sitting pending the outcome of ruling of courts challenging the composition of the panel alleged not to have followed due process.
Political observers of Bayelsa political game however, argue that the mantle may fall on Seigbarugu of Central Senatorial District following the precedence set by Ebebi who became Deputy Governor after he presided over the House that impeached former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
It is, however, not clear if Agatha Goma,the only woman whose name is being circulated, and younger sister to the Chief Judge would make history as the first woman Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state.
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt