Tribunal nullifies Bayelsa Governorship election

Bayelsa State Governor,Douye Diri

The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal on Monday nullified the election that produced candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party’s, Senator Duoye Diri, as Governor and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

The panel sitting in Abuja held that the election was unlawful due to the exclusion of ADP and its candidate, King George, from the November 16 Governorship Election.

The ANDP claimed that the party was unlawfully excluded from the election.

In a split judgement of two-one, the three-man panel ruled that INEC does not have the power to disqualify any candidate for an election.

INEC, in its argument, said that the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate was 34-year-old as at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify to contest the election.

ANDP told Justice Yunusa Musa, who delivered the lead judgment that its initial Deputy Governorship Candidate, David Esinkuma was duly substituted by the Party within the allowed time frame, following the notification from INEC that he’s under-age.

Justice Musa in his response said that INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate and insists that the petition of the ANDP stands.

He also added that only a court has the power to disqualify any candidate for any election and that the petition was filed within 21 days, which is the stipulated time for petitions to be filed.

Justice Musa described the action of INEC to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as illegal.

It ordered INEC to conduct a fresh governorship election in Bayelsa State within 90 days.

Also, the tribunal further ordered that the petitioner should be included in the fresh election to be conducted.

Meanwhile, Solacebase reports that the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal on Saturday affirmed the election of Senator Duoye Diri as Bayelsa State Governor.

The three-man panel took the decision a month after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Senator Diri in the November 2019 election.

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