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Just In: Tribunal affirms Duoye Diri as Bayelsa governor

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Federal Capital Territory (FCT)Abuja has declared that Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Duoye Diri, as winner of the gubernatorial in the state.

In a unanimous judgement, the three-man panel ruled that applications filed by other candidates and aspirants lack merits and that Diri was duly elected by the electorate November 16 last year.

The panel led by Justice Owodunni, delivered its verdict on Saturday barely a month after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant under PDP, Timi Alaibe, faulting the primaries that produced Diri’s candidacy.

In a unanimous judgment, the tribunal held that the petition filed by Owei Woniwei of the Alliance for Democracy is incompetent and lacks merit.

The Tribunal further held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of the forged declaration of age and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharged certificate leveled against the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence.

In its second ruling on the case between Ibiene Stephen versus Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Diri, his deputy, and PDP, the tribunal stated that their cases lack merit.

Aside from dismissing United Peoples Congress’ petition challenging Diri’s election, the tribunal also struck out the case filed by candidate of Liberation Movement, Vijah Opuama, against INEC, the elected governor, his deputy, and the PDP.

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