After Supreme court judgment affirming Governor Duoye Diri victory as the governor of Bayelsa state, again, the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Saturday says he was duly elected governor of the state.
Diri, who came second in the November 16, 2020 governorship election in the state, was declared the elected governor of the state in a subsequent February 2020 Supreme Court judgment disqualifying the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, David Lyon, who earlier emerged the winner of the poll.
In separate judgments, the Justice Mohammed Sirajo-led panel of three judges unanimously affirmed the governor’s election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the November 19, 2019 poll.
It dismissed three separate petitions filed by different parties to challenge Diri’s emergence as Bayelsa governor.
The dismissed petitions were filed by the Alliance for Democracy, the United People’s Congress, the Liberation Movement, and their respective candidates.
Affirming his emergence as governor on Saturday, Justice S.M. Owoduni, who read the lead judgment of the tribunal, held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei and his party, the AD, was incompetent and lacked merit.
The judge held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegation that Diri’s deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, forged his declaration of age and National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate.
The tribunal also dismissed the petition filed by Ibiene Stephen and his UPC for lacking in merit and also struck out the petition filed by Vijah Opuama and his LM, which had also accused Ewhrudjakpo of forging his NYSC discharge certificate.
Meanwhile, the All Progressive Congress Caretaker committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni has charged the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Ondo State Governorship Election National Campaign Council to work assiduously to ensure the state remains within the APC family.
Buni made the call while inaugurating the campaign council at the APC National Secretariat, in Abuja, on Saturday.
He expressed confidence that the people of Ondo, who kept faith with the party four years ago, were willing to support Governor Rotimi Akeredolu again.
Buni said, “You will all recall those four years ago, the good people of Ondo State generously voted our party, the All Progressives Congress for an initial four-year mandate.
“I am happy to state that the chairman and members of the council were carefully selected based on their personal records of hard work, proven integrity and commitment to the ideals of our dear party.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the rich cream of personalities on this council, with vast electioneering experience, would once again secure the mandate of the people of Ondo State, for the party and its candidate.”
He also told the council members, “The party and its supporters across the country have enormous confidence in your ability to succeed.
“You are, therefore, encouraged to always engage in teamwork and collective participation. We are fully confident that by the grace of God, you will succeed and do us proud.
“Let me use this occasion to assure the good people of Ondo state that your investment in the party in this election will consolidate the achievements recorded in the last four years. I want to assure you that APC will not renege in its drive to build a peaceful and prosperous Ondo State that will be the pride of all.”
Akeredolu, who is seeking reelection on the platform of the APC, would face Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party, amongst other contenders, in the October 10 governorship election in the state.