Tribunal Affirms Diri As Bayelsa Governor Dismisses Two Petitions

 Tribunal Affirms Diri As Bayelsa Governor Dismisses Two Petitions

Bayelsa state governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja has affirmed Duoye Diri as the duly elected governor of Bayelsa.

The three-man panel took the decision on Saturday 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.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Owodunni, the tribunal held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei of the Alliance for Democracy is incompetent and lacks merit.

In a unanimous decision on Saturday, a three-man panel of the tribunal dismissed two petitions challenging the Diri’s victory.

S.M. Owoduni, judge who read the lead judgment of the tribunal held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), is incompetent and lacks merit.

Owoduni held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegation that Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, deputy governor of Bayelsa state, forged his declaration of age and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharged certificate.

The second petition filed by Ibiene Stephen and his party, the United Peoples Congress (UPC), was also dismissed.

The tribunal is currently reading its judgment in the petition filed by Vijah Opuama, candidate of the Liberation Movement (LM).

Opuama had filed a petition to challenge the declaration Diri and Ewhrudjakpo as governor and deputy governor.

Opuama also alleged that Ewhrudjakpo submitted forged exemption certificate and documents that contain false information to INEC, asking the tribunal to cancel the election and order a fresh poll.

Diri, a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was sworn in as governor after the supreme court sacked David Lyonas 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).

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