Bayelsa Crisis: Why PDP Candidate may not be Sworn in
The Supreme Court Judgement, nullifying David Lyon as the Governor elect of Bayelsa has thrown the state into a serious constitution confusion. The supreme court ruled that the deputy governor-elect committed perjury by “fraudulently using different names as it suits him.” Consequently, the court ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return it earlier issued to them, and issue a fresh one to the party that secured the second-highest number of lawful votes and got the required constitutional spread at the election.
While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have commended the apex court on the judgement, the All Progressive Congress(APC) says Diri Douye will not be sworn in as Diri who came second has not met the required constitutional spread at the election.
In the November 25, 2019 election, Diri Douye won Kolokuma/Opokuma, and Sagbama and also secured more than 25 per cent of the votes cast in Yenogoa, Ekeremor, and Brass. Douye failed to secure the 25% in Nembe, Southern Ijaw and Ogbia. According to the ruling of the supreme court, Diri Douye must have 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-third of the eight Local Government areas of the state. While two-third of eight is 5.32, Diri Douye secured 25 percent in only five states.
According to the national Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Diri Douye cannot be sworn in since he did not meet the one quarter of votes cast in two-third of the eight Local Government areas of Bayelsa.
While briefing Journalsits in Abuja, Oshiomhole said: “As a political party, we respect the rule and we respect and have confidence in the judiciary. However, this judgement lacks the fruits of justice. For me, and our party, at the heart of election is the issue of who did the people actually voted for. “Is there a case of impersonation on the part of the deputy governor-elect? Is there any other person who has come out to claim that name as to raise doubt as to whether this is the deputy governor-elect dually elected along with the governor during the Bayelsa governorship election?
“Where justice and democracy thrive on the alter of technicalities, it constitute danger to our democracy. Nobody has raised issues whether David Lyon and his running mates won overwhelming majority,” APC stated. “Issues of whether a chieftaincy title is part of a name or not could not be a reason to dismiss the wishes of the great people of Bayelsa State who reposed absolute confidence in the election of Lyon and his running mate during the last governorship election. “It is not a state secret. If as the Supreme Court has ruled, Lyon cannot be sworn in as governor and that the person who has the highest number of vote and spread be sworn in, it simply means that from tomorrow, there will be no government in Bayelsa State.
“As far as we know, the next candidate who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one quarter of the total lawful votes cast in that election in two thirds of the eight local government areas in Bayelsa State. “Therefore, from the facts available to us and in due consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that no candidate meets the requirements of the Supreme Court which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow, unless there is a deliberate attempt to abuse the legal process. “We have accordingly asked our lawyers to look at all the windows that exist in law and take steps to ensure that the will of the people of Bayesla State is not undermined on the alter of technicalities.”