Duoye Diri

Less than 24 hours to his swearing-in, the Supreme Court on Thursday nullified the electoral victory of Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress as Bayelsa State’s governor-elect. Also sacked was his running mate, Mr Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

A five-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidates who had been declared winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

The Court held that the deputy governor-elect , Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. It held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremienyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state contained false information of a fundamental nature.

The apex court held that since Degi-Eremieoyo shared a joint ticket with the governor-elect, his disqualification invalidated their nomination by the All Progressive Congress, APC.

The Supreme Court also ordered INEC to issue fresh certificates of return to the candidates of the party with the next highest number of votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election who are the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates, Duoye Diri and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor. This means that Senator Duoye Diri will tomorrow be sworn in as the governor of Bayelsa State while Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor will become the deputy governor.

This is a very big set-back for the APC in Bayelsa State which had never won the governorship of the  state before 2019 and was already preparing to be inaugurated tomorrow.