The immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, on Monday evening declared that there was no vacancy in the Government House despite the judgment of the state’s election petition tribunal which nullified the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The tribunal had earlier on Monday nullified the election that produced Duoye Diri as governor of Bayelsa State.
The panel gave the order while ruling on a petition filed by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) over its exclusion from the election.
The tribunal had earlier on Saturday dismissed three other petitions against the election of Diri.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had disqualified the ANDP from participating in the election because its deputy governorship candidate was 34- year-old at the time of nomination.
Justice Yunsa Musa, who delivered the lead judgement, however, said the commission lacked the power to disqualify any candidate.
But in a statement issued by his media advisor, Fidelis Soriwei, the former governor insisted that Diri remained governor until a final decision on the issue was reached at the Supreme Court.
He described the ruling as “a temporary setback which does not in law affect the status quo until appeal processes are exhausted.”
Dickson urged the people of Bayelsa not to be perturbed by the tribunal’s verdict, stressing that the Peoples Democratic Party and the government would appeal the judgment.
He said: “I urge Bayelsans to remain calm. They shouldn’t misinterpret what took place at the tribunal today (Monday).
“The judgment is a temporary setback that does not have any effect on the status quo until all processes of appeal are exhausted.
“There is no vacancy in the Bayelsa Government House. Diri remains governor until the Supreme Court decides. Of course, what this means is that the PDP will appeal this decision.”
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