Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Appeal Court on Monday upheld the election of Douye Diri as Governor of Bayelsa State.

The court nullified an earlier judgment of the Bayelsa Election Petition Tribunal nullifying the election of Diri and ordering fresh poll within 90 days.

In today’s judgement, the five-man panel of the court held that the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP, failed woefully to show that it had a valid candidate that was unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to the court, the Bayelsa Election Petition Tribunal ignored the fact that the petition of the ANDP was status barred in addition to the fact that the party presented an unqualified candidate to INEC in the November 16, 2019 Governorship election in Bayelsa State.

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On 17 August, 2020, the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal had nullified the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The three-member panel led by Justice Mohammed Sirajo had held that the election was unlawful due to the exclusion of ANDP and its candidate, King George from the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

The tribunal had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a by-election within 90 days.