The Code of Conduct Bureau has referred the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, and four others to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for prosecution on charges of abuse of office.
A statement by the CCB Head, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Ibraheem Al-Hassan, said in a statement on Tuesday that the defendants would be arraigned before the tribunal in Abuja on May 22.
The particulars of the offence were not stated in the statement.
Apart from Benson, others named as defendants in the four counts filed by the CCB at the CCT are: a former Clerk of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, a former Accountant of the House of Assembly and their predecessors.
The Speaker’s co-defendants are: Mr. Aaron Timiye (former Clerk), Mr. Thomas Tamaraodubo (former accountant), Owudogu Edward (the incumbent Clerk) and Mr. Koroye Stephen (the incumbent accountant).
Al-Hassan said the referral of the defendants to the CCT “was contained in a correspondent from the Code of Conduct Bureau, addressed to Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal to commence trial, dated 3 April 30, 2019.”
He said the correspondent was jointly signed by the operatives of Code of Conduct Bureau, Musa Ibrahim Usman; and Fatima Kere Ahmed.
The application was said to have read, “Pursuant to Section 24 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, I hereby apply to the Tribunal for the commencement of trial for the offence of Abuse of Office contrary to paragraph 9 of the fifth schedule, part 1 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and punishable under paragraph 18 (1) and (2) of the same constitution, and as incorporated under section 13 and 23 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act CAP C15 LFN 2004.”
The statement by the CCT added, “Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Y. Umar, has approved May 22, 2019 for the commencement of trial against serving Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Friday Kombowei Benson and four others for alleged abuse of office.”