Ex-First Lady, Patience Jonathan seeks arrest of Bayelsa Government official over illegal demolition of her property

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Wife of former president Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, has sent a protest letter to the Bayelsa State Police Command over an alleged illegal demolition of her property, Aridolf Resort Wellness and Spa, located in Okaka area of the state capital by government officials led by a former secretary to the state government and the chairman of the state’s Physical Planning and Development Board, Alabo Gideon Ekeowe.

The former first lady in her letter to the police is demanding the arrest of Alabo Gideon Ekeowe over alleged abuse of office, criminal demolition and abuse of court processes.

It was gathered yesterday that the demand for the arrest of Ekeowe was provoked by the Friday destruction of the fence of the hotel without allowing the management of the hotel and the police respond to the court order arising from the Motion on Notice instituted by the physical planning board.

Investigations revealed that while the court ruled on the motion on notice on Monday, the Bayelsa police command was expected to jointly implement received the copy on Friday but officials of the board started demolishing at about 3pm on Friday without the police. The law establishing the board says such demolition cannot be done without  police approval.

It was gathered that though the demolished fence allegedly encroached on the legal line in the state physical development plan, the action of the  board violated court processes and abuse of office.

A source within the board told newsmen that the protest was creating an uproar and Governor Douye Diri seems to have dissociated himself from the action of the board.

Attempts to contact the board chairman, Alabo Ekeowe, proved abortive before press time but officials close to him denied knowledge of the complaint from the former first lady, declaring that the action of the board officials was backed by the ruling of the Physical Planning Tribunal Development tribunal headed by Justice Emmanuel Ogola (rtd).

“I am not aware of any disagreement between Madam Jonathan and Alabo Ekeowe. And I don’t know if she is calling for his arrest. But all I know is that a tribunal ruled against the property and it was executed,” the official said.

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