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Bayelsa gov’ship: Tribunal affirms Diri election, dismisses APC, Sylva’s petition

The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has affirmed the election of Governor Duoye Diri.

In a unanimous judgement on Monday, the three-member panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, for lacking in merit.

The panel further held that the reliefs of the petitioners were contradictory since they did not tender any electoral material to show that any irregularity occurred during the election.

The tribunal also observed that the petitioners were unable to discharge the burden of proof that was placed on them by the law.

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The panel added that the APC and Sylva failed to show, “polling units by polling units evidence of the non-compliance submitted and how it substantially affected the outcome of the election”

The tribunal struck out as incompetent, all the additional proof of evidence as well as statements on oath of some of the witnesses that testified for the petitioners.

Sylva had challenged the result of the November 11, 2023 governorship election which saw the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with 175,195 with APC’s 110,108.

Sylva further contended that INEC also excluded results from three local governments of Southern Ijaw, Ogbia and Nembe.

Governor Diri commended the judiciary for upholding his victory and the wishes of the people.

He vowed not to be distracted in his commitment to serve the people of the state.
Meanwhile, Sylva has vowed to challenge the outcome of the election at the Court of Appeal after meeting critical stakeholders of the party.

“No quantum of miscarriage of justice will make us lose confidence in the Nigerian judicial system,” he said.