Oshiomhole: Nobody can be sworn in as governor of Bayelsa

…says S/Court judgement lacks fruit of justice

 

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has declared that going by the content of the Supreme Court ruling on the governorship election in Bayelsa State, there is no person who can be legally sworn in as governor of the state.

The apex court had yesterday nullified the election of Mr. David Lyon, the Governor-elect and candidate of the APC in the November 16, 2019 poll, following the invalidation of the candidacy of his running mate and Deputy-governor-elect, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

The court further ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return it earlier issued to Lyon and issue  a fresh one to the next candidate with the highest number of votes and the required spread across  the local councils in the state.

But, Oshiomhole, in a swift reaction to the judgement, said available statistics from the election showed that the next party in terms of number of votes scored is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but said that its candidate, Senator Douye Diri, cannot be sworn in as governor today because he did not meet the required two third spread of votes across the state.

He argued that the Supreme Court did not say that any party or anybody should be sworn in but the party that is following APC candidate with the highest number of votes and with the necessary spread.

His words: “If as the Supreme Court has ruled, David Lyon cannot now be sworn in as the person who has the highest number of votes and the spread, it simply means from tomorrow there will be no government in Bayelsa State.

“As far as we know, the next candidate, as the facts are before court, who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one quarter of the total lawful vote cast in that election in two-third of the local government councils in Bayelsa State. Therefore, from the fact available to us, in consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that there is no candidate that meets the requirements of the Supreme Court, which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow unless there is a deliberate abuse of the legal process.”

Oshiomhole described the judgement of the Supreme Court as lacking the fruits of justice, disclosing that APC has assembled a team of lawyers to review the judgement and explore avenues of redressing the apparent injustice served on the ruling party.

“We have accordingly asked our lawyers to look at all the windows that exist in law, and take steps to ensure that the will of the people of Bayelsa State is not undermined on the altar of technicalities.

“I am not a lawyer and I don’t need to be one. When judges make judgement they are published and if you can read and write, even laymen like me can understand.

“In 1999, there was a similar case in Bauchi State involving Governor Adamu Muazu. The court found out that the running mate was not qualified for whatever reason to contest that election and accordingly the Supreme Court nullified the election of Govenor Adamu Muazu. The court, as a consequence, directed INEC to conduct a fresh election.

“I believe it is still the same Supreme Court and therefore we have asked our lawyers to exploit all lawful legal windows to ensure that Bayelsa people have a governor of their choice,” he said.

Oshiomhole said that what happened to the APC in Zamfara State over faulty primary election is totally different from what is happening in Bayelsa State, adding that the party will pursue justice to its logical conclusion.

“We want to assure not just APC members across the country, who are still in shock over this judgement, we want to assure the Nigerian people that we are a law abiding party, we still believe that the will of Bayesla people will prevail and there is sufficient legal window to achieve it. As a political party, we respect the ruling  and have confidence in the judiciary. However, this judgement lacks the fruits of justice,” he said.

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