Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has faulted the recent judgement by a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, barring Chief Peremobowei Ebebi from contesting the forth-coming by-election in Bayelsa West Senatorial District of the state.
Sylva, who described the court’s ruling as a “miscarriage of justice,” said it was a judgement “procured” by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from a judge that was sympathetic to the opposition party. In spite of the court ruling, the minister, who spoke at a rally for Ebebi in Yenagoa, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) will clinch the December 5 by-election for Bayelsa West and Central seats in the state.
The two seats became vacant following the inauguration of Senators Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhrujakpo as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.
It would also be recalled that the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial poll was won by APC’s candidate, David Lyon, who was later sacked by the Supreme Court on February 13, 2020 on the grounds that his deputy, Senator Degi Biobarakumo, submitted forged credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the nomination process.
In the by-election, APC is fielding Ebebi, a former deputy governor, for Bayelsa West and Mr. Abel Ebifemowei for Bayelsa Central. The minister noted that the party had more acceptable candidates for the polls.
He regretted that the former governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, and PDP candidate for Bayelsa West election, was maligning the image of the APC candidate, due to Ebebi’s political clout and pedigree.
“You all know the antecedents of our candidates, Peremobowei Ebebi and Abel Ebifemowei. You also know that the PDP candi dates have failed Bayelsa. “Dickson did not argue that Ebebi was a lawyer, but took him to court on the grounds of his qualification for admission into the Rivers State University of Science and Technology where he read the law.
“It seems to us, the APC family in the state, that the judiciary in the state is targeted at our party and candidates.
“The said judge who gave the procured judgement is sympathetic to PDP, she is partisan and so we are not surprised at the biased judgement that was delivered in favour of Dickson and his party,” Sylva noted.
He said that the party was hopeful that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgement against Ebebi and the APC, maintaining that the two APC candidates would emerge as senators-elect at the end of the polls.
Meanwhile, the APC senatorial candidate for Bayelsa West by-election, Ebebi has urged his support base and party faithful to disregard the court judgement which had earlier disqualified his candidacy.
Ebebi said he was hopeful that the expected judgement from the Appeal Court would upturn the former judgement and put him back on the ballot.
He promised that he would fast track the development of the senatorial district if he emerged winner in the forthcoming polls.