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The governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, recorded another victory on Thursday, as the Court of Appeal upheld his election.
The panel of five justices, in their ruling, unanimously dismissed the appeal brought before the court by the All Progressives Congress, APC and its candidate, Timipre Sylva, challenging the ruling of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which earlier ruled in Dickson’s favour.
Led by Justice Olukayode Bada, the Appeal court held that Sylva and the APC failed to prove the allegations of corruption, substantial noncompliance, gross violation of the electoral act and other malpractices in the conduct of the election.
In the lead judgment read by him, Justice Bada said since the appellants participated fully in the rescheduled election of January 9, 2016, the ground that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, unilaterally cancelled the December 6, 2015 election as the basis for his case was no longer tenable.
According to the judge, it was established beyond doubt that the decision to shift December 6, 2015 election to January 9,2016 was taken by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and parties who participated in the polls.
Justice Bada said: “The contention of the appellant has no merit. They were expected to leave evidence to prove their claim that the election was marred by irregularities, electoral malpractices, and allocation of votes and gross violation of electoral act. These allegations were not proved by the appellants.
“Am in total agreement with the judgement of the lower tribunal because its decision was based on the evidence place before it.”
The APC and Sylva had approached the Appeal Court claiming that the tribunal erred in its judgment.
It also asked for the setting aside of the ruling, sacking of Governor Dickson and the conduct of a fresh election.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews…
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