Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja that nullified the election that produced him as the governor of the state.
The governor had through his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) filed an appeal challenging the judgment of the tribunal.
He urged the appellate court to set aside the majority judgment and allow the minority judgment delivered by the Chairman of tribunal dismissing the petition for lacking in merit.
Diri argued that the majority judgment erred in law when the held that INEC in rejecting the candidate of the ANDP as invalid was a nullity.
According to him INEC as an electoral unmpire has the constitutional powers to vet, reject, and disqualify candidates who did not meet the statutory qualifications to stand for elective positions.
He cited sections 285(14) (c)of the 1999 constitution and therefore, the action of the INEC in disqualifying the candidate of the ANDP was not a nulity as declared by the tribunal.
The court had earlier nullified Diri’s election following a petition filed by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, ANDP, accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of excluding the party from the ballot even after meeting all INEC’s requirement.
The Justice Ibrahim Sirajo-led panel voided the outcome of the gubernatorial election that held in the state citing the exclusion of a duly registered party ANDP, in the elections.
The ANDP claimed that the party was unlawfully excluded from the election.
The panel ruled that INEC does not have the power to disqualify any candidate for an election.
The election which was conducted and supervised by the nation’s electoral umpire, INEC, took place November 16, 2019.