ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has rejected to screen and clear a commissioner-nominee for the Local Government Service Commission, Ms Grace Ekiotene, over her alleged disrespect to members.
Ekiotene was the immediate past Commissioner for Transportation. She resigned to contest the State Assembly primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but lost.
She was accused of allegedly undermining the powers of the legislature on several occasions.
She was alleged to have shunned the members of the Assembly Committee on Transport on several occassions while in office as commissioner thereby allegedly frustrating their oversight functions.
She was said to be using her closeness to a former Governor and Senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District, Senator Seriake Dickson, to intimidate the legislators in the past.
At the sitting of the Bayelsa Assembly on Thursday, legislators, however, retaliated by rejecting to screen her alongside other nominees into various positions in the state.
Other nominees, which included Mr Stanley Braboke and Odudu Awipi, were screened and confirmed as commissioners and members of the LGSC.
Similarly, Chief Eyororokumah Robert has been confirmed as Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Board of Internal Revenue.
The leadership of the State House of Assembly, however, set up an Ad-hoc Committee headed by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Michael Ogbere, to look into the reasons behind the rejection of Ekiotene’s confirmation.
Meanwhile, members of the House, led by the Speaker, Hon. Abraham Ingobere, Deputy Leader, Col. Bennard Kenebai (rtd), Chief Macdonald Igbadiwe and Hon. Tare Porri urged cleared nominees to engage in teamwork.
They advised them not to undermine any staff members but to motivate them when the need arises to enhance productivity as much as expected.
The lawmakers also urged the nominee designates to operate an all inclusive policy, tackle absenteeism and maintain a cordial working relationship with the legislative arm.