By Abah John – February 13, 2020
A five-man panel of the Supreme Court has sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, with a declaration that the second highest winner be declared winner by INEC.
The apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The Apex Court ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which are the Peoples Democratic Party.
Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.
The court upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.
The court ruled that Mister Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won November 16, 2019.
The five-man panel further held that on the basis of that both candidates and their party, the APC ought to have abstained from participating in the election.