Bayelsa Guber: Appeal Court Dismisses UPC’s Suit against Diri’s Election

By Alex Enumah

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday dismissed the appeal filed by the United Peoples Congress (UPC) and its governorship candidate, Mr Stephen Ibiene,11 against the election of Senator Duoye Diri as governor of Bayelsa State.

The court in unanimous decision dismissed the appeal for want of prosecution having been abandoned by the appellants.

The Bayelsa State Election Petition Tribunal had in August dismissed the petition of the UCP and its governorship candidate for failing to prove allegations made against the deputy Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Dissatisfied with the decision the petitioners had last month appealed against the tribunal judgment, asking the appellate to set aside the decision.

However when the matter was called Thursday, while Chief Chris Uche SAN, Mr Yunus Ustaz SAN and Mr Emmanuel Idem announced appearance for Governor Diri, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and PDP respectively, there was no representation for the appellants.

In a short ruling, the five man panel of the appellate court presided over by Justice Adezila Mshella, dismissed the appeal for want of prosecution.

Earlier, the panel had reserved judgment in Diri’s appeal against the majority judgment of the tribunal which ordered his sack.

The tribunal in a two-to-one judgment last month held that the Advanced Nigerian Democratic Party (ANDP) and its governorship candidate, Lucky King-George, were unlawfully excluded by INEC in the November 16 governorship poll in Bayelsa State.

The tribunal accordingly nullified Diri’s election and ordered a fresh poll in 90 days.

Other members of the panel are; Obande Fetus Ogbuinya, Peter Olabisi Ige, Jamilu Yamama Tukur and Folasade Ayodeji Ojo.

Details later…

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