17 September 2011
... There was confusion yesterday at the home council of the Former Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta, Mr.
Timi Alaibe, following the verdict of a Yenagoa High Court nullifying the removal of the Chairman, Kolokuma/ Opokuma local government council, Chief Ebikitin Doingoli, by the State House of Assembly.
The presiding judge, Justice Ebiyenrin Goodness Omukoro, at a resumed hearing of the suit declared that the removal of Doingoli was unconstitutional, unlawful, invalid and of no effect.
He relied on Section 24(6) of the Local Government Law Cap L10, L laws of Bayelsa State 2006.
He also ruled that Doingoli was entitled to remain as the council boss until the expiration of his term of office in March 2013, or his removal in accordance with due process.
Justice Omukoro further invalidated the swearing-in of Chief Ebierein Itubo, Doingoli’s former vice-chairman.
He proceeded to grant the order reinstating Doingoli back to his office, and an order restraining the four respondents “by themselves, agents, privies or servants from removing and or interfering with his rights, duties or functions and or privileges as the council boss.
Investigations revealed that immediately details of the judgement filtered to the local government, there was wild jubilation in Odi, Opokuma and Kaiama, the council headquarters, as youths and workers trooped to the streets to celebrate the judgment.
Doingoli, who has been away from Bayelsa, in a telephone interview, said it was a victory for democracy as the judiciary had demonstrated that it was indeed the last hope of the common man.
His words: “We thank God. The judiciary has proved that it is the last hope of the common man. The judiciary despite threats, intimidation and pressures from government, has been able to deliver judgement in favour of democracy. This is victory for democracy.”
Doingoli appealed to his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding.