Nigeria: INEC Speaks On Supreme Court Ruling On Bayelsa Governorship

13 February 2020

Nigeria's electoral commission, INEC, has said it would study the ruling of the Supreme Court judgment nullifying the election of the candidate the All Progressives Congress (APC), David Lyon, as the winner of the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa.

On Thursday, a five-member panel of the apex court led by Mary Odili sacked Mr Lyon on the grounds that his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented false information before the commission.

The apex court, in the judgment delivered by Ejembi Eko, consequently ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Messrs Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo.

The judge also ordered that INEC should immediately declare the party with the highest number of lawful votes and geographical spread, the winner.

INEC

But an INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye, said the commission "would go back to its operations department and find out which political party came second in the polls as required by the courts," DailyTrust reported.

"The Supreme Court has directed the commission to issue the Certificate of Return (CoR) to the political party that placed second in the Bayelsa governorship election and which also has the geographical spread in the election.

"So, what the commission would do is to go back to its operations department and make a determination on which political party came second in the election and which political party got the geographical spread in the election," he said.

But the Chief Press Secretary to INEC, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told PREMIUM TIMES the commission had not been served with the judgment details.

"The Independent National Electoral Commission has always complied with court judgments/orders. However, in the case of the Supreme Court's judgment on the Bayelsa governorship case, the commission is yet to be served with the judgment. No action can be taken until we are served," Mr Oyekanmi said.

Ruling

Following the judgment, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Diri Duoye, is expected to be inaugurated on Friday as governor of Bayelsa State.

Mr Duoye came second in the election with 143,172 votes to Mr Lyon's 352,552 votes.

He won the election in two of Bayelsa's eight local governments while Mr Lyon won in the remaining six.

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