02 October 2020 by VICTORIA ABAH
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has overturned a ruling which nullified the election of Douye Diri as Governor of Bayelsa State.
A five man panel of the court held that the Bayelsa Election Petition Tribunal acted outside its jurisdiction by nullifying the election of Governor Diri.
In a unanimous judgment, the panel of Justices said the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP failed woefully to show that it had a valid candidate that was unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The Court also berated the tribunal for ignoring the fact that the petition of the ANDP was statute barred in addition to the fact that the party presented an unqualified candidate to INEC in the Governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Chief Chris Uche,Counsel to Governor Douye Diri while addressing journalists immediately after the judgment, explained that the verdict has restored hope in the country’s electoral process.
Also the PDP, lawyer Mr. Yunuz Uztaz, and Mr Ibrahim Bawa, counsel to INEC expressed satisfaction over the judgment
Meanwhile, the factional Chairman of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP, Chief Charles Ogboli, hinted that they would be challenging the judgment at the apex court.
The Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Petition Tribunal in August nullified Diri’s election based on a petition filed by the ANDP, which argued that it was unlawfully excluded from participating in the November 16, 2019 governorship poll.