Appeal Court upturns Bayelsa governor’s removal







The Court of Appeal in Abuja has voided the judgment of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Governor Duoye Diri.

A five-member panel of justices presided by Justice Adzira Mshelia on Friday unanimously held that the grounds of the appeal by Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has merit and upheld their submissions.

In the lead judgement read by Justice Obande Ogbuinya, the court ruled that the candidate of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) was not lawfully nominated to contest the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

The appellate court also ruled that the petition of the ANDP, which was filed outside the time allowed by the 4th Alteration of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 for pre-election matters, was statute barred and stale, which robbed the tribunal the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Governor Diri had filed the appeal challenging the August 17 judgement of the election tribunal which nullified his election in the grounds of the unlawful exclusion of the deputy governorship candidate of the ANDP by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for being below the 35 years provided by Section 177(b) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999.