The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Douye Diri, on Monday, August 17, said he will appeal the ruling of the governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja, which nullified his election.
Diri, stated this shortly after the tribunal ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission wrongly excluded the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party governorship candidate in the November 16, 2009 election.
According to a statement issued by acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah; Diri said he has confidence in the judiciary that he would triumph in the end.
He said, “We trust in the judiciary and we are appealing the judgement. With God on our side, we will get justice.
“This is a court of the first instance and I have instructed our lawyers to file an appeal. We have a right to appeal even up to the Supreme Court.”
1st News had reported in a split judgement of two-one, the three-man panel ruled that INEC does not have the power to disqualify any candidate for any election.
This verdict comes in the wake of a petition filed by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP, challenging the victory of Governor Diri in the November 19, 2019 governorship election.
The ANDP is claiming that the party was unlawfully excluded from the Bayelsa election.
However, in its argument, INEC explained that the party’s Deputy Governorship candidate was 34 years old; as at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify to contest the election.
ANDP told Justice Yunusa Musa who delivered the lead judgment that its initial Deputy Governorship Candidate, David Esinkuma was duly substituted by the Party; within the allowed time frame, following the notification from INEC that he’s under-age.
Justice Musa in his response said that INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate; and insists that the petition of the ANDP stands.
He also adds that only a court has the power to disqualify any candidate for any election; and that the petition was filed within the 21 days which is the stipulated time for petitions to be filed.
Justice Musa described the action of INEC to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as illegal.
The governor urged members of the Peoples Democratic Party and his supporters also not to panic; and to continue to remain calm as well as law-abiding.