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Bayelsa tribunal upholds Gov Diri’s re-election



Douye Diri

The Bayelsa State governorship election petition tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Timipre Sylva, challenging the re-election of Governor Douye Diri.

In a unanimous decision, the three-man panel led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye held that the petitioners failed to provide credible evidence to support their allegations of irregularities in the governorship poll.

The tribunal struck out additional proof of evidence and witness statements filed by the petitioners, citing a breach of electoral laws.

It also dismissed allegations of forgery against Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, stating that the issue was a pre-election matter that had become statute barred.

READ ALSO: APC, Sylva close case in petition challenging Diri’s election in Bayelsa

The tribunal noted that the petitioners’ prayers were contradictory, seeking both a declaration as winners and a nullification of the election.

It held that the petitioners failed to discharge the burden of proof and unable to show specific polling units where irregularities occurred and how it affected the outcome.

Justice Adeleye, who read the lead judgment, noted that some allegations contained elements of criminality that ought to have been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The tribunal upheld preliminary objections filed by the respondents, challenging the competence of the petition.

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