Criminal Defamation: Bayelsa Govt Denies Link With Trial Of Okah

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The Bayelsa State government yesterday absolved itself of blame over the ongoing trial of Barr. Jonah Okah,the former speech writer to the former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva at the magistrate court over alleged criminal defamation of Mr. Ritchie Etonye, the Government House accountant over the alleged missing $4.6million.

Barr. Jonah Okah, who is also a civil servant serving with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Justice, is currently in prison custody on the order of the magistrate court .

The Bayelsa State government, through the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, said the present administration wondered why the arrested Okah, who is on the payroll of the government, would be claiming to be a loyalist of the former governor, Chief Timipre Sylva.

According to the statement, “Surprisingly, Okah himself has issued a statement which his sponsors said he ‘smuggled from his prison cell’. In the statement the detained civil servant turned politician accused Governor Seriake Dickson of master minding the ugly fate that has befallen him.

“The latest provocative accusation is an unwarranted attack on Governor Dickson and it is not only spurious but lacks all forms of credible substance. As a follow up to my earlier statement and a reply to Okah’s diatribe I wish to again state as follows:

“Neither Governor Dickson nor any member of his government is directly or indirectly influencing Okah’s case. It is purely a matter between him and Richie Etonye, an accountant.

“Also Governor Dickson and the Bayelsa State government do not control the Nigeria Police Force so the style of Okah’s arrest could not have been orchestrated.

“Okah should recall that the home of the man who took him to court was also recently invaded by over 50 policemen in a commando style acting on a false alarm.”

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