Tribunal Chairman Delivers Dissenting Minority Judgement on Bayelsa Election

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SWITZERLAND, AUGUST 18 – Chairman of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, has distanced himself from majority judgement of the tribunal that nullified the election of Governor Duoye Diri of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Sirajo, who delivered a dissenting judgement shortly after two other Justices on the three-member panel tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to within 90 days, conduct a fresh poll in Bayelsa State, affirmed governor Diri’s election.

The two other members of the panel, Justices Owei Woniwei and Yunusa Musa had in their decisions, voided the outcome of the election that held in the state in November 2019.

The judgement against Diri was based on a petition lodged by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party, (ANDP) before the tribunal, contending that it was unlawfully excluded from participating in the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, despite the fact that it fulfilled all the statutory requirements.

Justices Owei Woniwei and Yunusa Musa, in their majority judgement, agreed that INEC illegally excluded ANDP and its governorship candidate, King George, from the election.

However, the Tribunal chairman stressed that since the disqualified candidate did not meet the constitutional requirement, he was therefore not a valid candidate that could claim right of exclusion.

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