Saturday, July 28, 2007
Alamieyeseigha released, whereabouts unknown
The former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha has been released by the Nigerian Prison Services (NPS), but his whereabouts were yet to be established at the time of this report.
His release is believed to have been facilitated by a plea bargain entered into between him, the court and the EFCC at his last court appearance, Thursday.
Last Thursday, the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Shuaib, handed down a two-year imprisonment term on each of the six-count charges specifying that the terms will run concurrently and from the day of his first arrest, December 9, 2005.
Confirming Alamieyeseigha’s release, sources at NPS said he had been released from Ikoyi prisons where he had been detained since his return from treatment overseas and taken to an undisclosed location. It could not be ascertained if the location is in Lagos, Abuja or Bayelsa, his home state.
Also collaborating the news about his release, the co-ordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, Mr. Joseph Eva expressed gratitude to the media and the judiciary for their support in ensuring the speedy trial, conviction and eventual release of erstwhile the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. DSP Alameseigha from prison last night.
Eva said, “we are happy that he has been released to re-unite with us and his family. We thank the press and the judiciary for their unwavering support while the trial lasted.”
But the EFCC last night denied knowledge of the former governor’s release. “I’m not aware of that,” the commission’s prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, told THISDAY in a telephone interview. “The order of the court said he should be remanded in prison and that was what we did.” He said it’s not the responsibility of the commission to determine if Alamieyeseigha has actually spent the requisite term in jail specified by law. “We’ve done our bit,” he said.