The election of Governor Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been dismissed by the Bayelsa Governorship Election Tribunal.
The tribunal led by Justice Muhammad Sirajo nullified the governorship election following the unlawful exclusion of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) from the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Delivering the lead judgement, Justice Yunusa Musa, however, issued that a fresh election in Bayelsa state must be conducted by INEC within the next 90 days and must include the ANDP in the Election.
The judgement follows the petition by ANDP challenging the victory of Governor Diri in the November 19 governorship election. The party claimed that it was unlawfully excluded from the election.
In its argument, the ANDP said 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.
The party added that its initial Deputy Governorship Candidate, David Esinkuma was duly substituted 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 describes the action of INEC to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as illegality.