Bayelsa: INEC rejects APC’s request for fresh election

Following the Supreme Court judgement, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ruled out the demand for a fresh governorship election in Bayelsa state by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

INEC’s director of voter education and publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, on Sunday, February 16, said the commission had concluded its work on the Bayelsa state governorship poll on Friday, February 14, when the certificate of return was issued to Douye Diri. According to the report, one of the officials said the APC was asking for what is not possible, adding that the party should forget a fresh governorship election in Bayelsa state. The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had in a letter dated February 14, and addressed to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, called for a fresh election in Bayelsa state. Oshiomhole said the swearing-in of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Douye Diri, as the state governor was unconstitutional as he did not meet the mandatory constitutional requirements. The party said although the Supreme Court nullified its candidate, David Lyon’s victory, it stated that Diri also failed to meet the mandatory requirements to become governor. The Supreme Court had on Thursday, February 13, nullified the candidacy of Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, on the grounds that Degi-Eremienyo presented false information about his educational qualifications in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC as a candidate for the 2019 election. Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment, had said Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification on the basis of submitting false information to INEC had infected the joint ticket with which he and Lyon contested the election and emerged victoriously.

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