By Toby Prince
A former speaker of Bayelsa state house of assembly, Friday Komboyein, has been arraigned at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja over alleged abuse of public office.
Komboyein was charged alongside Aaron Timiye, a former clerk of Bayelsa state house of assembly; Thomas Tamaraodubo, former accountant of Bayelsa state house of assembly; Owudogu Edward, a former clerk of Bayelsa state house of assembly, and Koroye Stephen, former accountant of Bayelsa state house of assembly.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, CCT spokesman, said Komboyein and other defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges brought against them.
When the case came up on Wednesday, Diriyai Dambo, the defence counsel, asked the tribunal to strike out the suit because the matter could be resolved amicably between the defendants and Israel Sunny Goli, the petitioner.
But Danladi Umar, the CCT chairman, overruled Dambo.
Umar held that the matter was criminal in nature and that only the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) has the power to withdraw a case, not a petitioner.
Aligning with Umar, Julie Anabor, a member of the CCT panel, said the matter was brought to the tribunal on the strength of the investigation carried out by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and not the strength of the petition.
Making his submission at the tribunal, Peter Danladi, the prosecutor, said the letter written by the petitioner asking for a withdrawal of his petition has no effect on the trial.
He said he would present two witnesses one of which is the petitioner.
The matter was adjourned till December 17 for trial.