The Supreme Court has dismissed Timi Alaibe’s appeal challenging the validity of the candidacy of Governor Duoye Diri in the November 2019 election in Bayelsa State.
Alaibe claimed he was the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
But the Supreme court dismissed the case on Tuesday, on the ground that it was an internal party affair.
A five-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.
Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Alaibe that his case could not be categorised as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.
Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election but about an internal affair of the party.
Alaibe had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Today’s verdict will now put to rest all litigations against Diri, who himself was declared the governor by the Supreme Court, following the disqualification of the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
The APC had trounced the PDP in the election.
The PDP held its primary to pick its candidate on 3 September 2019.
The Chairman of the PDP electoral panel and governor of Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku, declared Diri winner after polling 561 votes to defeat his close rival, Ndutimi Alaibe who polled 365 votes.
Alaibe, dissatisfied with the declaration of Diri as Governor, had approached the High Court arguing that the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adopted a flawed process that led to the emergence of Diri as the PDP flagbearer.
Justice Tijani Ringim sitting at the Federal High Court Owerri dismissed Alaibe’s suit declaring Diri as the winner of the primaries.
Alaibe thereafter went to the Appeal Court. Again he lost the case.
He approached the Supreme Court.
A five-man panel of Supreme Court Justices headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed on June 17 asked the appellant and the respondents to regularise their processes.
Ahead of the judgment, Diri and top chieftains of the PDP relocated to Abuja.
Meanwhile, Governor Diri sponsored the airing of the documentary on the PDP primaries on some national television stations.