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UPDATED: INEC declares Douye Diri Bayelsa gov-elect, presents Certificate of Return

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tiamin rice

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Douye Diri as the governor-elect of the Bayelsa State.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the INEC’s National Commissioner, Legal Matters, May Agbamuche-Mbu presented a Certificate of Return to the governor-elect.

Recall that on Thursday, the Supreme Court had sacked David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the governor-elect for the state, following certificate forgery hanging on the neck of his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili, held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

It held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of the November 16, 2019, governorship election in the state, contained false information of fundamental nature.

Addressing a Press Conference on Friday in Abuja, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission had received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment of the apex court which disqualified Mr Lyon and vitiated the joint ticket of the party earlier declared winner in the election.

The court also ordered the commission to “declare as winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa state the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread).

“In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the commission met this morning and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.

“Without the votes scored by the APC, whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election now stands at 146,999.

“Out of this figure, the candidate of the PDP scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172.

“Similarly, the party has scored more than 25 per cent of the lawful votes cast in all the eight Local Government Areas of the State.

“Furthermore, the total number of registered voters in places where election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822. The candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes.

“The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.

“Consequently, Sen.  Diri and Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.’’

Mr Yakubu said that detailed result would be uploaded on INEC’s website and social media platforms shortly.

He said that the commission was aware that the tenure of the incumbent governor of Bayelsa ended at midnight Friday Feb. 14.

“Therefore, in fulfillment of the requirement of Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) the Certificates of Return to the Governor and Deputy Govemor-elect will be presented to them immediately as ordered by the Supreme Court,’’ Mr Yakubu said.

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