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APC writes INEC, demands fresh governorship election in Bayelsa

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has written a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), demanded a fresh governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The National ruling party said only a fresh governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bayelsa, would be the solution to resolving the problem in the state.

Recall that, the Supreme Court had sacked Bayelsa governor-elect, David Lyon, candidate of the APC who was declared winner of the election in the state in the last year November.

Lyon sacked because of the Degi-Eremieoyo, his running mate who forged certificate and ordered for the withdrawal of his Certificate of Return and issuance of same to Douye who came second in November polls.

The apex court in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The apex court upheld the November 12, 2019, judgement of a Federal High Court in Abuja, disqualifying Degi-Eremieoyo from participating in the governorship poll.

The apex court, in a unanimous judgment, declared Sen. Douye Diri of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election after it ruled that he scored the second-highest number of votes and had the required spread.

In a letter forwarded to INEC, Adams Oshiomhole, National chairman of the APC, told INEC that Diri did not meet the requirement and that a fresh election should hold.

‘‘In the said judgement of the Supreme Court, the candidature of our governorship and deputy governorship candidates were nullified and the commission was ordered to issue fresh certificate of returns with the highest number of votes and with the required geographical spread,” the letter read.

It is however to be noted that the Supreme Court did not void the votes that our party polled at the election and the implication of this is that the votes of the All Progressives Congress must be reckoned with in determining whether any other candidate polled majority of lawful votes cast in one-quarter of at least two thirds majority of the state.

‘‘We have reviewed the judgement of the Supreme Court and we are of the firm opinion that the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party cannot be issued certificate of return and or sworn in as the Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.

‘‘We are aware of that section 179(1)(b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria mandatorily requires a candidate for an election to the office of governor of a state to have not less than one quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two thirds of all the local government areas in the state before the candidate can be deemed to have been duly elected as the Governor of the State. This mandatory requirement was affirmed by the supreme court in the judgement under reference.

“From the results announced and duly published by the commission, it is clear that no candidates meet this mandatory constitutional requirement, including the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party who only managed to poll one quarter of the votes cast in only five local government areas.

“The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party or any other candidate whatsoever, none satisfies the requirement of one quarter of the votes cast in at least 2/3 of the local government areas in the state as required by the supreme court judgement further request that a fresh election be conducted by the commission for the office of the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State.”

Also, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, told newsmen in Abuja that the volte face commendations of the Supreme Court and INEC by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the political situation in the state have exposed the opposition party as a fraudulent and two-faced party.

He specifically asked the PDP’s National Chairman, Uche Secondus, whether democracy is no longer under threat as he had claimed.

According to the deputy APC spokesman, APC has formally demanded a fresh election in Bayelsa state, reminding that: “The party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole while affirming the supremacy of the Apex Court, forwarded a letter to the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu titled: Judgement in Appeal No: SC.1/2020 between PDP request for conduct of fresh governorship election in Bayelsa state.”

Nabena, however, urged Nigerians to be wary of “motor park politicians majorly in the opposition PDP.”

He demanded that the rule of law must be strictly adhered to in the case of the Bayelsa governorship, quipping: “When the Supreme Court decided against the PDP on the Imo governorship, the PDP, led a protest by its National Chairman, went around the EU, UK and US embassies wailing that ‘Nigeria’s democracy is under threat’. What has suddenly changed in the case of the Bayelsa governorship?

“This only goes to show that these foreign concerns and all Nigerians must be wary of the motor park politics and insincere antics of the PDP.

“The contentions on the Bayelsa governorship are far from over. We are all aware of the NYSC certificate forgery case of the Bayelsa deputy governor, as well as the decision of the APC national leadership to continue to pursue all legal avenues to contest INEC’s decision to declare Duoye Diri as Bayelsa Governor, having failed to meet the mandatory constitutional requirement to become the governor.

“I urge all lovers of democracy to continue to press that the rule of law is adhered to not only in the case of Bayelsa state, but in all matters.

“Democracy is a game of numbers and the majority must have their way. We insist that INEC should conduct fresh governorship election in Bayelsa State,” Nabena stated

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Ilesanmi Adekanbi

Ilesanmi Adekanbi is a Journalist by profession. He has been working in the Nigeria media industry for the past 6 years. He holds several professional certificates. contact me on email: [email protected]

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