Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has appealed the judgement which nullified his election as the governor of the state.
The governor’s lawyers filed the Notice of Appeal on Tuesday at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He is challenging the majority judgement of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Tribunal which nullified his election on 12 grounds.
The Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are listed as first, second, and third respondents in the appeal.
Governor Diri disagreed with the entire majority decision of the Tribunal as delivered by Justice Yunusa Musa and Justice Sikiru Owodunni.
He argued that the petition by the ANDP challenged its alleged unlawful exclusion from the election that was conducted on November 16, 2019.
The governor added that the cause of action of the first respondent crystallised on November 16, 2019, the Election Day when it claimed to have realised that INEC indeed did not place it on the ballot.
“From the date, the 1st Respondent had 21 days within which to file a petition against the alleged unlawful exclusion from the election.
“There was no election on the 14th day of February 2020 held by INEC to warrant the 1st Respondent’s petition filed on 26th February 2020, more than five months after the declaration of results, as the ground of complaint of unlawful exclusion is a complaint against an election, not a declaration,” he said.
According to Governor Diri, the case of ANDP is not hinged on the nullification of the votes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, David Lyon, nor on the declaration of results by INEC on February 14, nor on his return as the governor of Bayelsa State.
He insists that it was hinged on the ANDP’s alleged unlawful exclusion from the election, stressing that the first respondent’s petition was statute-barred and in breach of the provisions of Section 285(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
The governor, therefore, urged the appellate court to set aside the entire majority decision of the Tribunal, as well as dismiss the petition by the first respondent.
He also asked the court to uphold the minority judgement of the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Muhammad Sirajo.
Governor Diri believes Justice Sirajo appreciates the law and correctly applies the same to the facts and rightly dismissed the petition of ANDP.
Edo Elections: PDP Protests Siege on Governors By Security Agents
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protests the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin City, Edo state capital, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.
The national leadership of the party, in a press conference addressed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, alerted the nation and the international community of the security siege on PDP governors in their lodging in Benin City.
The party expressed shock that security agents were detailed to surround the lodging of our governors to harass and intimidate them, whereas APC governors, including the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo state counterpart, Hope Uzodimma as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole in GRA, Benin City.
Our party considers this siege as provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin City, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.
At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded.
The PDP calls on all stakeholders in the Edo governorship election, particularly the security agencies, to work towards a peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair election on Saturday.
Edo Guber: Youth Leader Canvass For Peaceful Poll, Charged Youths To Desist From Violence
A youth leader in Kaduna state and convener of Youths Arise in Democracy Now, Hon James Makeri has on all the gubernatorial candidates of all the political parties participating in the September 19, 2020 election not to use youths as agent of destruction during the polls.
Hon Makeri made the statement today while answering questions in an exclusive interview with Kabido Newspaper in Kaduna.
He said that ” my message to Edo youths to particularly not to allow themselves to be use in thuggery and other crimes which will affect the election negatively”.
” Also the main contenders that is Governor Godwin Obasakie and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu should allow the electorate to vote for their choice as there is no victor or vanquished in the election as it is the will of the people which must be respected by all.
He added that Nigeria is evolving and both the youths and elder state men must as a matter of patriotism give way to peace for democracy to flourish in the country.
Hon Makeri further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be steadfast and honest in the conduct of the election in order to entrench democratic norms in the country.
NBA Closely Monitoring Edo Election, Says Aikpokpo Martins
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says it is closely monitoring the activities leading to the governorship election in Edo State.
NBA First Vice President, John Aikpokpo-Martins, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja.
He explained that the body is satisfied with the peaceful manner political actors have conducted themselves so far.
“The NBA does not have the resources to follow up from the beginning to the end. As an association, this particular team was set up to observe from tomorrow till the election will be over; that is to say to the announcement of the result.
“However, we have been watching and observing all that is going on. For now, we are satisfied to the extent that the parties have conducted themselves very well, they have campaigned hard,” he said.
Speaking on the possibility of violence in the polls, the legal practitioner said there have been allegations of “threat to violence but not actual violence yet.”
The NBA leader said the allegations and counter-allegations do not automatically translate to violence on the election day.
Aikpokpo-Martins, who is also an indigene of Edo State, said the state does not have a history of violence in previous elections.
Although he admitted that the political atmosphere is tensed with the “temperature very high,” he is however optimistic of a peaceful conduct of the exercise on September 19.
“The security is very tight now. There are a lot of soldiers, a lot of policemen on the streets. I am very sure that will dissuade merchants of violence from going out to disrupt the election in a violent way,” he said.
His remarks come two days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.
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