The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bayelsa State’s governor-elect.
The declaration followed Thursday verdict of the Supreme Court which sacked David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress, APC, less than 24 hours before he could be inaugurated.
The chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement in Abuja on Friday.
His words: “In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the commission met this morning and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.
“Without the votes scored by the All Progressives Congress, APC, whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999. Out of this figure, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172.
”Similarly, the PDP has scored more than 25% of the lawful votes cast in all the eight local government areas of the state.
”Consequently, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected and governor and deputy governor of Bayelsa.
”The commission is aware that the tenure of the incumbent governor of Bayelsa ends at midnight today, Friday, 14th February, 2020. Therefore, in fulfilment of Section 75 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), the certificates of return to the governor and deputy governor-elect will be presented to them immediately as ordered by the Supreme Court.”
Supreme Court sacked Lyon as his deputy Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, was said not to be qualified for the November 16, 2019 election that saw their emergence.
In the judgement delivered by Justice Ejembi Eko, the Supreme Court upheld the Federal High Court’s decision which found the deputy governor-elect guilty of presenting false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The apex court therefore ordered that the Certificate of Return be withdrawn from the duo.
According to the court, it should be handed to the candidate with the second highest votes in the November 16, 2019 election.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the election, Douye Diri, therefore became the governor-elect.