Bayelsa State Takes Over Government Guest House Illegally Occupied By APC Bayelsa State

The Bayelsa State Government is to take over the Government Guest House located at Chief Melford Okilo Expressway, Kpansia, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State from the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter.

In a press release by the Bayelsa State Ministry of Justice, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter on the 17th day of July, 2015 forcefully broke into and gained entry into the premises of the already acquired and renovated Government property and took illegal possession of it as their party secretariat and campaign office. Upon this despicable conduct, the Government; with due deference to the rule of law, refrained from taking any steps that will occasion a breakdown of law and order but rather proceeded to court and obtained an interim order for them to vacate the premises which order they refused to obey.   

Excerpt is the full text of the press release

PRESS RELEASE

NOTIFICATION OF FORCEFUL TAKE OVER OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY ALONG CHIEF MELFORD OKILO EXPRESSWAY, KPANSIA, YENAGOA
We write on behalf of the Government of Bayelsa State with regard to the property located at Chief Melford Okilo Expressway, Kpansia, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. This has become imperative because a mishandling of developments in respect of the said property may lead to a breach of public peace if not properly addressed.
As you are well aware, the Government of Bayelsa State has always had a peaceful relationship with the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter and indeed all other political parties. This is due mainly to the political maturity displayed by the Government of Bayelsa State and its respect for the rule of law as pivotal to any democratic experience.
In the year 2010, the Bayelsa State Government acquired a property belonging to Chief Ipigansi Izagara along Chief Melford Okilo Expressway, Kpansia – Epie Yenagoa as a Government Guest House. The assessment, valuation and discussions towards the acquisition of the property was handled by the Executive Secretary of the Capital City Development Authority, the then Commissioner for Finance, Dr Opuala Charles and the former Governor of Bayelsa State Chief Timipre Sylva. The property was duly paid for and the Government took possession of the property as owner and the key were handed over to the State Government by Chief Ipigansi Izagara.
Thereafter, the property was rehabilitated by Gefesco Enterprises Nigeria Limited for a total sum of Forty Three Million Naira(43,000,000.000) of which the final payment of Twenty Three Million Naira (#23,000,000.000) was made by the current administration after an initial payment of Twenty Million Naira (#20,000,000.00) by its predecessor. The Government had subsequently used the property as Presidential Campaign office and after the said use, the keys to the property were handed over to Chief Ikiogha who was then the Chief of Staff, Government House. It is to be noted that the said Chief Ikiogha defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC) without handing over the keys to the property.
However, to the utter consternation of the Government of Bayelsa State, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bayelsa State Chapter on the 17th day of July, 2015 forcefully broke into and gained entry into the premises of the already acquired and renovated Government property and took illegal possession of it as their party secretariat and campaign office. Upon this despicable conduct, the Government (with due deference to the rule of law) refrained from taking any steps that will occasion a breakdown of law and order but rather proceeded to court and obtained an interim order for them to vacate the premises which order they refused to obey. The court order is attached hereto and referred to as
Sir, while the capacity of the Bayelsa State Government to also retaliate by forcefully ejecting the APC from its Guest House is not in any doubt whatsoever, no such step has been taken as doing so will unnecessarily heat up the polity. This restraint is borne out of a high degree of political tolerance and utmost respect or the rule of law. Be that as it may, recent developments within the Bayelsa State APC requires that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the said property is protected from avoidable damage and the resulting waste of Government resources. At the moment, the APC Bayelsa State Chapter is in deep crisis with opposing groups forcefully and intermittently taking possession of the property from each other. The property that Government did not only pay for with the common patrimony of the people but also renovated at great expense is now in danger of being vandalized by opposing APC thugs to the detriment of the interest of the Government and people of Bayelsa State.

Consequent upon the above, we request that you use your good office to call the APC, Bayelsa State Chapter to order and prevail on them to relocate their secretariat as the Government of Bayelsa State determined to take possession of the property.
Please be assured of our highest esteem and regards.

Preye Agedah Esq.
Solicitor General of Bayelsa State &
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice