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INEC reacts to tribunal’s nullification of Bayelsa guber election



Why we will not act on tribunal judgements now –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Monday it may not respond to issues raised by the Bayelsa State governorship election petition tribunal until it received the full judgment on the matter.

The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, stated this in a chat with journalists in Abuja.

The commission was reacting to the nullification of the November 16, 2019 governorship election which produced Duoye Diri as governor of Bayelsa.

Okoye, however, noted that the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) nomination for the election was invalid.

He added that the party did not exercise its right guaranteed in the Fourth Alteration to the constitution by filing its suit within 14 days of the accrual of the said right.

The INEC official recalled that the ANDP was one of the political parties that signified its intention to contest the election.

He said the party conducted party primaries and submitted the name of one Peter David as its Deputy Governorship candidate.

READ ALSO: Tribunal sacks Douye Diri as Bayelsa gov, orders fresh election

Okoye said: “As at the time of the submission of the name of the said candidate, he was 34 years-old, contrary to Section 177(b) of the constitution that makes it mandatory for a candidate for such office to attain the age of 35 years to be eligible to contest the election.

“In the candidate’s statutory declaration of age and affidavit attached to his form, the party stated that he was born on February 10, 1985.

“On September 13, 2019, the commission wrote to the party drawing their attention to the constitutional age requirement of 35 years for Governorship/Deputy Governorship candidates as stipulated in Section 177(b) of the constitution.

“The commission also informed them of the invalidity of their nomination for the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State,” he added.

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