/> THE RURAL PEOPLES ASSEMBLY LIBERATION MOVEMENT MOVES TO ARREST AND PROSECUTE VIJAH OPUAMA, FRANKLIN IDE, ALUZU EBIKEBUNA, P. D PIUS AND CHERRY EBIKABOERE FOR FRAUD, IMPERSONATION, CONSPIRACY, CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST AND OBTAINING MONEY THROUGH FALSE PRETENCES

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THE RURAL PEOPLES ASSEMBLY LIBERATION MOVEMENT MOVES TO ARREST AND PROSECUTE VIJAH OPUAMA, FRANKLIN IDE, ALUZU EBIKEBUNA, P. D PIUS AND CHERRY EBIKABOERE FOR FRAUD, IMPERSONATION, CONSPIRACY, CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST AND OBTAINING MONEY THROUGH FALSE PRETENCES

RURAL PEOPLES ASSEMBLY
LIBERATION MOVEMENT MOVES TO ARREST AND PROSECUTE VIJAH OPUAMA, FRANKLIN IDE, ALUZU EBIKEBUNA, P. D PIUS AND CHERRY EBIKABOERE FOR FRAUD, IMPERSONATION, CONSPIRACY, CRIMINAL BREACH OF TRUST AND OBTAINING MONEY THROUGH FALSE PRETENCES
In a swift twist of fate; the Liberation Movement, one of the political parties who hitherto contested and lost the Gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State and, went ahead to challenge the outcome of the Bayelsa State Gubernatorial election at the Tribunal has moved to arrest and prosecute some of its prominent ambassadors, members and legal team, over alleged criminal breach of trust, gross misconduct and breach of the party's constitution and principles.
The party arrived at this decision after its emergency Bayelsa State Stakeholders Meeting on 18th of November, 2020; which was held to appraise the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of the suit filed by the Candidate of Liberation Movement Mr. Vijah I Opuama, at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, following an appeal made to the Supreme Court from the loss of the case at the Tribunal and Court of Appeal stages of the litigation seeking to disqualify Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and Senator Douye Diri of the PDP, for submitting false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in aid of their nomination and participation at the 2019 Gubernatorial polls.

The suit which was coming up for adoption of Briefs of Argument at the Supreme Court, was suddenly withdrawn by the legal team, led by  P. D. Pius under suspicious circumstances, to the disappointment of thousands of party supporters and the general public on the 17th of November 2020; which led to the eventual dismissal of the appeal. 

The Appeal by Mr. Vijah was one of several appeals filed against the decision of the Court of Appeals by the political parties who lost to the PDP and their candidates, to express their dissatisfaction with the judgment of the lower courts; but were later withdrawn after the Petitioners and Respondents met and agreed to explore out of court settlement. 
When contacted by party representatives to enquire about the circumstances that had led to the withdrawal of the suit by the lawyers, Mr. Vijah responded by claiming that he did not accept the out-of-court settlement like other political parties and candidates due to his 'integrity', and was equally surprised that, his lawyers would withdraw the suit at the Apex Court after the efforts already put in, without any consultation with him or the party. 

A review of the position taken by Mr. Vijah, candidate of LM and the action of the lawyers suggests that, there is more to this issue than meets the eye. Even as the lawyers claim that, they were threatened by the Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to withdraw the case or face stiff sanctions. And according to them, that was why they withdrew from adopting their briefs of argument and subsequently withdrew the case. 
This is indeed preposterous and unheard of, especially when lawyers contend that they were coarsed by the Apex Court in Nigeria to quit a brief perfected and maintained by litigants. Suspecting foul play, the Party at the State and National level, have resolved to interrogate the situation by setting up investigative committees, and submitting the named individuals to police for quizzing and possible prosecution for alleged criminal breach of trust, conspiracy, fraud, impersonation, obtaining money through false pretences and gross misconduct, allegedly committed by anyone of them in the process, after thorough investigation.
Rumour has it that aside from collecting the sum of N150million as out of court settlement, Mr. Vijah I Opuama was intending to deny the out of court settlement, and sought to proceed with the case as a strategy to blackmail the negotiators who gave him the money into giving him more money in the name of the out-of-court-settlement, moving forward. But was denied the opportunity when his lawyers were confronted on the date of adoption by lawyers of the Respondents (Distinguished SANs) and the Justices of the Supreme Court, who reminded them of the dangers of receiving settlement and going ahead with the case, after his Client had collected the N150million.
Barr. P. D. Pius of P. D. Pius & Associates confirmed to the State Party Chairman while speaking on the phone that, he was put in a compromising and humiliating position and had no other option than to withdraw due to the act of Mr. Vijah and his deputy Franklin Ide, who received the money without his knowledge.
Speaking further on the issue, the lawyer confirmed that he had received the sum of N13million from Mr. Vijah in his bank account sometime in September, 2020; but, he wasn't aware if it was the money from the out-of-court settlement until he was confronted with the information in court.

When confronted with the issue, Barr. Aluzu Ebikebuna also confirmed that he received the sum of N7million from Mr. Vijah aswell, but was surprised to receive the alert, because he knew that Mr. Vijah could barely feed himself after he was released from detention at Suleja Medium Security prison for alleged resisting arrest by the Nigeria Police Force. He said he had volunteered his services to Vijah and the party and even contributed his personal funds to prosecute this case, and sees no reason why Vijah will receive N150million and send him a paltry N7million.

Also, speaking on the issue, Mr. Tuebi J. Sapre-Obi, Director General of Vijah Opuama Campaign Alliance (VOCA) confirmed the story by stating that, Mr. Vijah also sent him about N2.7million to distribute among members of their campaign team including himself about the same period described by Pius and Aluzu. But also expressed his surprise that he did not know Vijah had paid off at the time; because, Vijah said the money was from donors to the campaign organization. 
He equally noted that prior to that moment, Mr. Vijah could barely feed himself, as he the DG had to send money from his private business to support him on several occasions, including few days after his release from Prison as an awaiting trial inmate. He stated that this information he just presented can be verified by printing out his statement of account from the bank if the need arises. 

Speaking on the development, the Liberation Movement Party Chairman in the state confirmed the development stating that, he also observed the happenings at the time and it clearly depicted foul play; because, he was also sent money through the Campaign DG from Vijah, and he believes that the ''out of court settlement'' seems to be true, as Vijah had suddenly become rich and has been able to pay his girlfriend's bride price like some of his loyalists, bought her a Venza SUV, and is in the process of registering a private firm worth N5million with Corporate Affairs Commission, in order to retire from active politics.

The Chairman expresses his dismay at the desperation shown by Mr. Vijah and lack of truth in the words coming out of the young politician's mouth, who has continued to show insincerity in all his dealings with the party, including the documents submitted to the party. He said that, Vijah claimed he was a graduate and presented a personal profile suggesting that, he is a graduate of criminology; but, was later discovered to be an ordinary secondary school certificate holder. An information he kept away from the party until after the close of nominations, when the party had no other option to replace him as a candidate under their platform. The Chairman thanked God for not letting him foist the state with a leader like Vijah; because, he would not have been able to forgive himself for presenting a fraud like Vijah as governor of Bayelsa State.

He urged members of the Party to remain calm; as the party has and would use every resource at its disposal to right this wrong. 
  

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