By Adedayo Akinwale
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the Supreme Court judgement on the Bayelsa gubernatorial election lacks the fruit of Justice.
To this end, the ruling party said it had assembled its team of lawyers to challenge the judgement of the apex Court.
A five-man panel of the apex court presided over by Justice Mary Peter-Odili nullified the election of Mr. David Lyon as Governor elect of Bayelsa State, barely 24 hours to his inauguration.
The apex court sacked Lyon on the grounds that his deputy, Senator biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, presented false information to INEC in aid of his qualification for the November 16 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
But addressing a press conference after the judgement Thursday in Abuja, Oshiomhole said that it was clear that no candidate had the constitutional spread, unless there was a deliberate attempt to abuse the legal process.
He stressed that nobody had raised issues about whether or not Lyon and his running mate won overwhelming majority in the said election.
Oshiomhole stated: “This judgement lacks the fruit of Justice. When justice is sacrificed on the alter of technicalities, it constitutes a great danger. Let me also say that it is not a state secret, if as the supreme court has ruled, David Lyon cannot now be sworn in as the person who has the highest number of votes and the spread to be sworn in, it simply means from tomorrow there will be no government in Bayelsa state.”
“But, as far as we know the next candidate, as the 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 2/3 of the local government councils in Bayelsa state. And, therefore from the fact available to us, in consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that there is no candidate that meet the requirements of the supreme court, which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow unless there is a delibrate 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 alter of technicalities.”
The national chairman said that in 1999, there was a similar case in Bauchi involving former Governor Adamu Muazu, adding that the court found out that the running mate was not qualified for whatever reason to contest that election and the supreme court nullified the election of Gov Muazu and directed INEC to conduct a fresh election.
He said that he chose to respond to this judgement so that the party does not leave the people of Bayelsa in doubt as to where its stand, while insisting that the Bayesla judgement was totally different from what was obtainable in Zamfara.
“Therefore from the facts available to us and in due consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that no candidate meets the requirements of the supreme court which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow, unless there is deliberate attempt to abuse the legal process.”
Oshiomhole assured that the party would take steps to ensure that the will of the people of Bayesla state is not undermined on the alter of technicalities.
“We want to assure not just APC members across the country, who are still in shock over this judgement, we want to assure the Nigerian people that we are a law abiding party, we still believe that the will of Bayesla people will prevail and there is sufficient legal window to achieve it.”