ABUJA – The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has rejected the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State governorship election.
He faulted the judgement while addressing a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, shortly after the apex court sacked the candidate of the APC, David Lyon, as the governor-elect in Bayelsa.
The APC national chairman stressed that the implication of the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court was that nobody was qualified to be sworn in as governor of Bayelsa State.
“If as the Supreme Court has ruled, David Lyon cannot now be sworn in as governor and as the person who has the highest number of votes and the spread to be sworn in, it simply means from tomorrow (Friday) there will be no government in Bayelsa State,” he said.
An Infected Ticket
Earlier, a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili sacked Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.
The court consequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to APC candidates.
It ordered the electoral umpire to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes, and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election.
Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment, had disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo as a candidate in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC and upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He held that the deputy governorship candidate had infected the joint ticket with which he and the Lyon ran for and won the election.
Altar Of Technicalities
Moments later after the verdict, Oshiomhole made known the position of his party while briefing reporters at the APC secretariat in the nation’s capital.
In his own interpretation of the judgement of the apex court, the APC national chairman insisted that Bayelsa would have no government from Friday.
According to him, not even the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has met the recruitment stated by the law for its candidate, Diri Duoye, to be sworn in as governor of the state.
“As far as we know, the next candidate (because these facts are before court) who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one-quarter of the total lawful votes cast in that election in two-thirds of the eight local government councils in Bayelsa State,” Oshiomhole stressed.
He added, “Therefore, from the fact available to us and in due 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.
“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.”