Election Petition Tribunal nullifies the election of Douye Diri, orders a fresh election within 90 days

  • Zino Magazine
  • August 18, 2020
  • Comments Off on Election Petition Tribunal nullifies the election of Douye Diri, orders a fresh election within 90 days
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The Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday nullified the election of Governor Duoye Diri occupying the number one seat in the state on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

The tribunal mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to conduct a bye-election within the next 90 days.

The Justice Mohammed Sirajo-led three-man panel ruled that the election was unlawful due to the exclusion of Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party and its candidate, King George, from the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in its argument said that the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate was 34 years old as at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify to contest the election.

According to reports by NAN, on August 15, the tribunal upheld the election of Governor Diri and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

The tribunal in a unanimous decision dismissed the first petition that was filed by the Alliance for Democracy and its candidate, Owei Woniwei, for want of merit.

The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to by way of credible evidence, prove that the deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Ewhrudjakpo, tendered forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

In the lead judgment that was read by Justice S.M. Owoduni, the tribunal further held that the petitioners failed to also establish the allegation that Ewhrudjakpo falsified his age.

Describing the case as “unnecessary waste of time of the court”, the tribunal, upheld preliminary objections that Diri, Ewhrudjakpo, and the Peoples Democratic Party lodged to challenge the competence of the petition.

The AD and its candidate had in their petition, alleged that Ewhrudjakpo altered the name on the National Youth Service Corps certificate he presented to INEC for the purpose of the governorship election that held on Nov. 19, 2019.

Diri became governor after a court ruled against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress David Lyon who was the authentic winner of the November 16, 2019, election in the state following discrepancies in the name of his deputy.

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