THE Court of Appeal in Abuja has reversed the August 17, 2020, majority judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal which sacked Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor of Bayelsa State.
A five-man panel of the appellate court, in two unanimous judgments today, held that the tribunal was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction over the petition filed on February 26, 2020 by Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) and grant the reliefs sought by the petitioner.
The Court of Appeal held among others that the cause of action was statute barred, as at when the ANDP filed its petition, because its grouses of unlawful exclusion and unlawful disqualification are pre-election issues that ought to be raised within 14 days.
The Appellate Court, therefore, proceeded to set aside the majority judgment of the tribunal that had sacked Diri, and affirmed his victory at the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
The judgments were on the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/703/2020,
filedDiriand CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/704/2020 by Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
The court which scheduled judgments in seven appeals on the same dispute over the last Bayelsa Governorship election is currently on the third appeal, marked: CA/ABJ/EPT/GOV/705/2020, filed by the PDP.