APC faults Diri’s swearing-in, demands fresh election in Bayelsa

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has faulted the declaration and swearing-in of Douye Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Bayelsa state.

Recall that the apex court on Thursday sacked the APC flag bearer, David Lyon, as Bayelsa governor-elect over discrepancies in his running mate’s certificates.

In a letter to the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), titled,’ Judgement in Appeal No: SC.1/2020 between Peoples Democratic Party Request for conduct of fresh governorship election in Bayelsa State, Oshiomhole acknowledged the judgment of the apex court, but noted that the court did not void its party’s votes from the elections, even as he noted that the PDP candidate did not meet the requirement to be declared winner of the election.

He therefore called on INEC to conduct fresh elections to determine who the governor of the state should be.

The letter read in part: ‘’Kindly recall that the Governorship election in Bayelsa State was conducted on the 16th November, 2019 and our great party, the All Progressives Congress, duly participated at the said election. You will also recall that the All Progressives Congress emerged victorious at the election leading to our Lyon David Pereworinimi being declared and returned as winner of the election,’’ the letter reads.

‘’Our attention has been drawn to the judgement of the Supreme Court delivered on 14th February 2020 in the pre-election appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and its governorship as well as deputy governorship,’’ Mr Oshiomhole wrote.

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a‘‘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.

‘’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.

He further noted, that “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 APC said.

The party said its position is fortified by the fact that there is a condition precedent to the winner being issued a certificate of return.

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