Tribunal Annuls Bayelsa Governorship Election
The Bayelsa state governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja has annulled the election of Duoye Diri, governor of Bayelsa state.
Lucky King-George, candidate of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), had asked the tribunal to cancel the election because he was excluded from the November 16, 2019 governorship poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had explained that it excluded ANDP from the elections because David Esinkuma (34-years old), the party’s initial deputy governorship candidate, did not meet the age requirement of 35 years to contest in elections.
But ANDP had submitted that Esinkuma was duly substituted within the allowed time frame, following his disqualification by INEC.
The party, therefore, prayed the tribunal to order for a fresh conduct of the poll.
On Saturday, a three-man panel of the tribunal had dismissed three petitionschallenging the election on the grounds of incompetence and lacking merit.
But while delivering judgment on another petition on Monday, the panel held that the election was unlawful due to the exclusion of ANDP and its candidate.
Yunusa Musa, the judge who read the judgement, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in Bayelsa within 90 days.
Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was sworn in as governor after the supreme court sacked David Lyon as governor-elect 24 hours before his inauguration.
The apex court based its rulings on the premise that Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, running mate of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), presented forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).