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Appeal Court reserves judgment in Bayelsa deputy governor’s alleged certificate forgery case

The Court of Appeal on Friday reserved judgment in the alleged certificate forgery case involving the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Ewhrudjakpo had asked the court to dismiss the case brought against him by the Accord Party governorship candidate, Ebizimo Diriyai.

Diriyai is appealing the ruling of the Bayelsa State governorship election petition tribunal that dismissed his petition against the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

When the matter came up on Friday, Ewhrudjakpo told the five-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Adzira Mshella that the Accord Party case was statute-barred.

He said the case was not filed within the 14 days stipulated by Section 285 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

READ ALSO: Tribunal throws out petition filed by Bayelsa deputy governor

Earlier, the deputy governor’s counsel, Mr. Chukwuma Machukwu-Umeh (SAN), told the court that what the appellant took to the tribunal was a pre-election matter which was erroneously labeled as a post-election matter.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published names of Bayelsa governorship candidates and their running mates 60 days before the election.

This, he added, was for the general public to make claims and objections.

After taking arguments, Justice Mshella announced that judgment on the matter was reserved and a date would be communicated to parties at a later date.

The tribunal had in August dismissed Diriyai’s petition against Ewhrudjakpo.

The panel held that the petitioner was unable to prove his allegation against the deputy governor.

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