The Appeal Court on Monday upheld the election of Douye Diri as Governor of Bayelsa State, nullifying an earlier judgment by a tribunal which had ordered fresh poll within 90 days.
Delivering the judgement on Tuesday, the five-man panel of the court held that the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP, had “failed woefully to show that it had a valid candidate that was unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”.
The appellate court held that there was enough evidence to show that the case of the ANDP was statute barred, the party, having not filed its petition within 14 days as stipulated by law.
Mr Ogbunya in the judgment, agreed with Mr Diri, the appellant, that the case of the ANDP which ought to be filed within 14 days was filed five months after the cause of event.
On another grounds of appeal, Justice Ogbunya also agreed with the appellant that INEC was right in excluding the ANDP from the Nov. 16 governorship poll.
This was on grounds of disqualification of the ANDP’s deputy governorship candidate, who was said to be under age at the time of the election.
Justice Ogbunya held that on the whole, Diri’s case had merit and he subsequently affirmed his election as governor of Bayelsa.
He further set aside the majority judgment of the tribunal that nullified the Nov. 16 governorship poll and ordered fresh elections.