- The senatorial candidate of the PDP for Bayelsa Central in the 2023 elections, Friday Konbowei Benson, has been arrested by the police
- A special team of police officers attached to the office of the IGP on Wednesday, September 14, stormed Yenagoa to arrest Benson
- There are speculations that the PDP chieftain’s arrest was instigated by his political rival who had accused submitting forged documents to INEC
Yenagoa, Bayelsa state – The police in Bayelsa state have arrested the Bayelsa Central senatorial candidate for the 2023 elections on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Friday Konbowei Benson, over alleged certificate forgery.
Benson, a former speaker of the Bayelsa state House of Assembly, had during the PDP primaries defeated incumbent Bayelsa Central senator, Moses Cleopas, by polling 110 votes to emerge as the party’s standard bearer against the latter, who polled 22 votes.
Unsatisfied with the modalities adopted for the primary election, Cleopas consequently dragged Benson before the Federal High Court in Yenagoa.
He accused the former Speaker of submitting forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
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According to Leadership, a special team of Police officers attached to the office of the Inspector-General of Police on Wednesday, September 14, stormed Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital to arrest Benson.
He was said to have been taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) where his statement was taken.
The commissioner of police in Bayelsa, Ben Okolo, allegedly confirmed the presence of the IGP team in the state.
Okolo, however, said he was not aware of the reasons or the case the team was investigating in the state.
Senator Cleopas reacts
Meanwhile, Senator Cleopas denied instigating the police to arrest his opponent.
“The Nigeria Police is not under my control, so I cannot influence them to do their job. They are doing their work,” the lawmaker said.
Probed further that he was said to have written a petition against Benson which led to his arrest, Cleopas said he has a right to write a petition.
“I am a Nigerian citizen who has fundamental human rights to write a petition against somebody I believe used forged documents to contest against me,” he added.
Sources close to Benson, however, said there was no cause for alarm, noting that there is nothing new in the allegations against Benson from all that are contained in the case before the Court.
The source expressed confidence that Benson would defend himself because he has nothing to hide as the allegation was a non-issue, Daily Sun also reported.
Supreme Court affirms Chukwuma Odii Ifeanyi as Ebonyi PDP governorship candidate
A five-member panel of the apex court, headed by Justice Amina Augie, unanimously upheld the appeal filed by Ifeanyi in the judgment delivered on Wednesday, September 14, The Nation reported.
The court set aside the July 19 judgment of the Court of Appeal, which ordered a retrial of the suit between Ifeanyi and Senator Joseph Obinna Ogba on the dispute over who was the PDP’s actual candidate in the southeast state.