Supreme Court Upholds Dickson's Election


*As Appeal Court rules on Ondo PDP governorship candidate dispute Wednesday

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

The Supreme Court has upheld the election of Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the July 26’s Bayelsa State governorship election.

The court, in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the appeal of Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress.

The apex court’s decision has finally laid to rest the controversy over the election

In upholding Dickson’s election,‎ a seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Tanko Muhammad, unanimously dismissed the appeal filed by Sylva and his party on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.

Justice Muhammad, who delivered the summary of the lead judgment, however said that he would give reasons for his decision ‎on November 18, 2016.

The apex court delivered the judgment after hearing all the various cases filed with respect to the dispute over the last year’s governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Also on Tuesday, :the Court of Appeal in Abuja said it would on November 10 decide whether or not to allow Eyitayo Jegede, the Ahmed Makarfi faction’s candidate for the Ondo State Governorship election will be allowed to challenge the judgment of a Federal High Court
which declared Jimoh Ibrahim the party’s candidate.

The court will also rule on other preliminary applications filed by other interested parties.

Justice Ibrahim Salauwa-led three-member panel fixed the date after counsel to parties had argued their respective applications.

The court will also decide whether it has the jurisdiction to hear all the applications.

The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had earlier dismissed the petition filed by Sylva .

Not satisfied with the verdict of the Tribunal, Sylva further appealed
to the Court of Appeal in Abuja which also dismissed his case.

The appeal court, in a unanimous judgment dismissed the appeals by
Sylva and his party.

Justice Rotimi Bada in the lead judgment, held that the appeal lacked merit.

Still not satisfied with the verdict of the appeal court, Sylva went further to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the appeal court.

Yesterday, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, a member of the Supreme Court panel d‎ismissed a cross-appeal filed by Dickson challenging some aspects of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Other members of the panel also agreed with Justice Kekere-Ekun.

In another lead judgment by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola also dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the PDP against the appeal filed by Sylva.

Other members of the panel agreed with the lead judgment.The panel members also promised to deliver a detailed judgment on November 18.

The appellants had, through their lawyer, Mr. Sebastine Hon, SAN, prayed the appellate court to set aside the decision of the tribunal, sack Dickson and order fresh governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Sylva, who is a former governor of the state and his party, among other things, contended that the tribunal misled itself, misapplied the law and came to a wrong conclusion in its verdict when it declined to void the election which they said was fraught with manifest irregularities.