By Aku Young
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday, affirmed the election of Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa.
The Court thereby set aside the judgment of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which nullified Diri’s election as a result of the unlawful exclusion of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party and its candidate, King George, from the exercise.
The three-man election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja had, in a split decision of two-to-one, nullified the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa State governorship election.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Diri, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission had filed separate appeals against it.
The appellate court held that there was enough evidence to show that the case of the ANDP was statute-barred, the party, having not filed its petition within 14 days as stipulated by law.
On another grounds of appeal, Justice Obande Ogbunya also agreed with the appellant that INEC was right in excluding the ANDP from the November 16 governorship poll on grounds of disqualification of the ANDP’s deputy governorship candidate, who was said to be underage at the time of the election.
Justice Ogbunya noted that on the whole, Diri’s case had merit and he subsequently affirmed his election as governor of Bayelsa.