INEC sets to issue Certificate of Return to PDP’s Duoye as Bayelsa Governor-elect
The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has boasted that his candidate, Senator Douye Diri, would be inaugurated as the new Governor of the state following the judgement of the Supreme Court.
According to Business Day, The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to issue a Certificate of Return to Diri Duoye, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate following Thursday’s s Supreme Court judgement.
The Supreme Court judgement had sacked the Bayelsa Governor-elect David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo and ordered for the withdrawal of his Certificate of Return and issuance of same to Duoye who came second in November polls.
According to a source at the just- concluded INEC meeting since morning said the Commission which received the court order by mid night would issue the Certificate of Return to Duoye, any moment from now.
The Supreme Court Thursday nullified the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as governor of Bayelsa State and declared the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election held on November 16, 2019.
The Court ordered the withdrawal of the Certificate of Return issued to APC’s David Lyon and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, as the governor-elect and deputy governor-elect of Bayelsa State in the polls.
Nigeria’s highest Court also ordered that the candidate of the party that scored the second-highest number of votes in the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial polls should be sown in as governor of the State.
Available figures indicate that while Lyon scored 352,552 votes, PDP’s Duoye Diri came second wth 143,172 votes.
The swearing-in of the governor of Bayelsa is scheduled to hold Friday, February 14, 2020.
The decision of the Supreme Court was based on the fact that Degi-Eremienyo, submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) forged certificates for the governorship election, the Court said.
The seven-member committee of the Supreme Court chaired by Mary Odili held that once a candidate submits a forged certificate for an election, he is deemed not to have contested in the election at all, hence its decision to award the certificate of return to the party with the second-highest number of votes.
Don’t issue PDP’s Diri certificate of return – APC to INEC
The All Progressives Congress (APC), has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), against issuing Diri certificate of return as the winner of the November 16 guber election.
The part claimed he did not meet the constitutionally electoral requirements for inauguration as directed by the court.
The party made the appeal on Thursday evening in Yenagao, during a media briefing by APC stalwarts and other stakeholders.
Speaking at the conference, the member representing Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Preye Oseke, described the judgement as shocking and procured.
He said the APC and the people of Bayelsa totally rejected the judgement and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue certificate of return to Diri.
Oseke argued that even based on the pronouncement of the court, Diri was not qualified to be sworn-in as he failed to meet the constitutionally required geographical spread in the election.
He said: “As a people and party, we are rejecting the judgement completely. It is a procured judgement. While we have our respect for our revered justices, we believe that this is not the wish of Bayelsans.
“We are calling on INEC not to issue certificate of return to the candidate of the PDP because the candidate of the PDP was unable to score the required 25 per cent in the two third of the local government areas.
“As a party, we are law abiding. Our properties had been destroyed even in the midst of the judgement. But we are calling on all our party supporters to remain calm while our leaders, stakeholders meet and come up with the next line of action.
“We believe that the right thing will be done and the the rule of law will be upheld”.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has boasted that his candidate, Senator Douye Diri, would be inaugurated as the new Governor of the state following the judgement of the Supreme Court.
Reacting to the judgement of the court in a special valedictory live media chat, Dickson faulted the position of the APC National Chairman Adams Oshiohmole on the judgement.
He said: “The court has decided and I dont think the national chairman of the APC is competent to seek an appeal over the decisions of the Supreme Court.
“The last time I checked, the rules the judgement of the Supreme Court is final and that is what we have now. Any other issue is a question of interpretation and opinion. My candidate will be sworn in tomorrow.”
Dickson, however, called for calm and warned against tendencies that could lead to breakdown of law and order in the state.
He said the judgement was victory for democracy and all Bayelsans across party lines and called on the opposition leaders to rein in their supporters.
He said: “You can’t have a state if you don’t have peace and stability. But once the matter has been decided one way or the other, as law-abiding people, you show understanding, rein in your supporters, explain to people and live to fight another day.
“That is what we do as politicians. I will like to congratulate all Bayelsans. We are actually waiting for the court position to be taken for me to invite anybody that win even if it is David Lyon to interact with me. We have programme lined up. We have done everything to ensure smooth transition.
“But now that the supreme court has decided otherwise. I call for everyone to take it in good faith and live to fight another day. No breakdown of law and order. No incitement.
“I believe that processes will be put in place to ensure that people will be carried along as much as possible. Those who have issues I am sure the incoming governor will say a thing or two about that. We have always run an inclusive government.
“And I believe that his own will be no difference. My take is actually to say that all of us have won. Even for those celebrating, is not to spite anybody. We have all we as a people and all of us should manage this process because the court has decided”.